Urban Sanctum Part 1 Project 2001 Aris Georgiadis Liverpool John Moores University Liverpool UK From the very beginning of the Urban Sanctum project I realised the need for a protected, peaceful space, so an internal garden was created. Its role was to offer a relaxing tranquil environment, an ‘oasis in the middle of Liverpool’s city centre’. Following certain Chinese philosophies, particularly that of the ‘Forbidden city’ (enclosure of spaces) and also some of the work of Tadao Ando (promenaded routes) a gateway was formed from the street leading to a linear journey where series of “layers” of experiences and views can be found. The building envelops the triangular site creating an internal semi-public courtyard-garden. Similar to the buildings in Liverpool such as the ‘Bluecoat Chambers’ it offers its garden to the public. The building has been conceived with a variety of spatial conditions ranging from open semi-communal activities to the ‘cocoon’ like floatation units dangling into the open courtyard.Following the linearity of the main street leading to the ‘Albert Dock’, the façade is a 3-storey high reinforced concrete wall concealing the yoga and the sauna units which appear to float in a double high space, overlooking the open pools below. Aris Georgiadis Aris’s project for an Urban Sanctum typifies his method of enquiry towards urban and architectural problems. His research for relevant urban typological models culminated in the development of the ‘courtyard’ type. The complex triangular site was tackled by an acute desire to forge a relationship between the public and semi-public through the provision of a serene courtyard. This became the heart of the scheme, where a number of various facilities were orchestrated around to create a ‘promenaded’ route through the various facilities on offer without losing the presence of the courtyard. His rigorous investigation into the subject yielded a number of very imaginative responses to include suspended halls for communal physical exercising to individual ‘cocoon’ flotation capsules. These elements became opportunities for developing unique forms and places to experience. His talent coupled with his unquenching passion for design and relentless quest for attaining a meaningful solution makes Aris a unique contributor to the world of design.