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Urban Sanctum

Part 1 Project 2002
Vinay Patel
Dario Camisay
Pablo Llorca
Liverpool John Moores University Liverpool UK
The holistic vision of the 'Urban Sanctum' is the stimulation of the body and mind by enriching the sensorial experience as one proceeds through the various spaces within. The building is introspective to a certain degree, congregating around the central inner steam chamber/contemplation space. The central steam chamber represents the 'hot springs', the source of water. Mists of steam penetrate from the surface, the visitor is inclined to follow the path of the heated evaporating water molecules and ascend the spiralling staircase. As one ascends this space the stimulation of the body increases due to the increased intensity of heat, and the mind is able to wonder as the mist is reduced to haze.

The Sanctum has been designed and controlled by a geometrical representation of the circle within the square. The significance between these two geometries has great importance to the centre, and also to the symbolism of the circles 'purity and sacred power'. The physical form of the central circle expands out from the confined boundary at the subterranean level. Its presence begins to dominate and take control of this space as one ascends up the levels in the form of an independent inverted conical structure. The circular form is allowed to further radiate out of this space to create ripple like forms throughout the sanctum. These forms and the activities evolved within them have a direct physical relationship with the circular origin, and that also of the mental relationship of the central space.

Vinay Patel
Dario Camisay
Pablo Llorca


Vinay’s premise for the design of an Urban Sanctum is very much considered from a phenomenological perspective, where all the spa and ‘physiotherapy’ facilities yield particular experiences to the visitor. Vinay’s poetic interpretation of the subject, in particular the act of ‘purging’ is translated into a key feature of the Sanctum. The steam chamber is a glazed inverted conical space which connects the building from the lower ground up to the upper levels, creating a climatically changing link to all the various facilities. The chamber is an entity which is transparent yet exerts a physical presence which reconciles importance and vulnerability thus drawing parallels with ancient roman baths. The investigation for this project exhibits an attitude which integrates the poetry of an idea with the realisation process demanded by contemporary technical requirements.


2002
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