Project Details

Date October 2017
Design, 1st Year Semester 2
Type Bathing Ritual
Program Public Bathing
Themes Submerge / Emerge
Porosity / Loop
Form + Structure
Location Little Coogee, Parramatta Park
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Institution University of Technology Sydney (UTS)
Applications Rhino 5, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Indesgin

Project Summary

The primary objective of my project is to reinvigorate the interaction between the public and Parramatta River in Parramatta Park. This is achieved by analysing how different bathing rituals affect our senses, as it allows better control and emphasis on the various bathing experiences, whilst creating seamless transitions between to allow a more comfortable experience whilst bathing in Little Coogee. The bathing experiences include sensory deprivation tanks, casual swimming, saunas, and sunbathing. Each of these are arranged in a loop, with various elements submerging and emerging from the ground as the public transitions from one program to another. In doing so, allows the public to physically interact with the river in various ways, dependent on their abilities and needs for the type of bathing ritual they require.



Along the lemniscate shape like loop there are 4 bathing rituals: Saunas, Sunbathing/lounging, Casual Swimming, and Sensory Deprivation Tanks. Each of these offer a unique bathing experiences, as well as require low skill levels, therefore can be experienced by essentially every local if they desired. Each of these rituals interact with our senses in different ways. For instance, swimming is an activity in which our motor skills are the driver, invigorating our senses of touch and sight, whereas as a sensory deprivation tank nullifies all senses, in doing so increases the possibility of altering the present state of mind, particularly the transition from automatic to controlled thinking processes. I would arrange them in such a way along the loop to reduce extreme changes between programs, providing a more relaxing experience for the public.

I would also study the mathematics behind the forms of the river, particularly its sinuosity (the curviness of the river). The natural bends a river makes tends to average around a circular style curvature (also known as an arc), as the average sinuosity of rivers around the world is approximately equal to 𝜋 (3.14159...). Hence, to allow the structures to flow around and along the river they must be constructed out of arcs (also shown through how the sauna is cocooned by the riverbank contours on the North East most side).


Sensory Deprivation Tank Space // Floorplan 1:200@A3


Sauna Space // Floorplan 1:100@A3


The two sections that are shown showcase the Sensory Deprivation Tank space (left), and the Sauna Space (right). Every program in the bathing ritual loop uses water from the river to allow the programs to be independent from the water grid. For instance, the mist used in the saunas are harnessed via filters from the river (filters are used to ensure the health of the public is protected from any possible contamination from the water in the river). Once collected after condensation they are then ejected once more into the river to ensure a cycle is achieved to minimise the loss of water, as well as provide safe and clean water for the public to swim in the river whilst simultaneously mitigating negative affects on the habitat for the native wildlife.

Both sections also highlight a division in the middle, with a passageway leading into the program on one side, and the respective program on the other side. This is due to the that the spaces are elongated around a common centre point of a circle to extend the distances between programs. By submerging and emerging programs from the ground, the structures are lightly touching the landscape by providing minimal obstructions. Traversing across and around the river would be as simple as if the bathing spaces weren't there in the first place. In doing so, allows the ability to provide a gradual change between programs rather than an abrupt one.


Sensory Deprivation Tank Space // Section 1:100@A3


Sauna Space // Section 1:50@A3


The Montages are used to highlight how spaces differentiate in the activation of senses. For instance, in order to blur the threshold of Sensory Deprivation Tanks to the external world, the threshold must slowly eliminate the public's ability to receive external stimuli via their senses. Leading up to the entrance, the sense of sound and sight are slowly nullified. As the public submerges the lighting diminishes, up until the point where they can at least see where they are walking. The water extracted from the river is passed through a wall waterfall, crashing beneath the glass pane underneath the public's feet, to be recollected once more, filtered, and let out into the river. The sound created blocks out any external sound, providing a complete transportation into the sensory deprivation tanks. This makes losing the sense of touch within the tanks less abrupt, improving the overall comfort and relaxation of the bathing experience.


Montage of the entrance to the Sauna Space


In the corridor around the Sauna Montage


Inside the Sauna Montage


Montage of the entrance to the Sensory Deprivation Tank Space


Montage of the lobby to the Sensory Deprivation Tank Space

1:500 Physical Model

The physical model is used to highlight how low profile the bathing rituals are to the park and the river. To maintain a symbiotic relationship with the landscape, the bathing rituals must reduce the negative impacts on the public's health and the wildlife as much as possible, whilst simultaneously giving back to the environment (for example the filtering system allows continuous maintenance of the water quality of Parramatta River). The low heights achieved by partial submersion as well as geometries formed as an extension of the geometries embedded within the river reduce environmental obstructions significantly of both humans and native species. With all these notions considered, the bathing rituals have successfully mitigated as many negative impacts on the local environment as possible.