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vort-x

Part 1 Project 2004
Phivos Skroumbelos
Christopher Rogers
Architectural Association London UK
Taking the dynamic behaviours of the vortex as both a conceptual and physical point of departure, I used it to choreograph an urban performing architecture.

In order to first understand the phenomenon of the vortex, I initiated the year’s work through a set of wet and dry studies, (and later a series of experiments using a script-based software called Femlab) to first read and map the vortex, and later to control the phenomenon. The most striking results from my experiments were the organizational patterns I was able to generate – the dynamic clustering and dissipating - and it is these that I took forward into the main project of the Bath House in the Thames.

The bath house I propose consists of an interconnected series of 50 bathing rooms, and 50 open spaces that perform as a reconfiguring urban scenery, one able to fluctuate between the larger scaled collective rooms or even the urban piazza, to smaller discrete and individual spaces. The bathing islands not only affect how people experience the bath house, but also choreograph the way we use and experience and urban environment.

Phivos Skroumbelos
Christopher Rogers


In Intermediate Unit 3 we focus our investigations into architecture within the realm of performance, challenging users to interact with built form. Phivos’s body of work is, from start to finish, and exemplary study of a dedicated investigation into a simple theme resulting in unexpected beauty and complexity.

The physical behaviour of vortices inspired the main project’s performance and interaction with the site: 100 bathing cells within the river operate both as intimate and individual bath houses, or when clustered together, as a large scale urban bathing complex. By introducing elements of movement and choreography into the project, Phivos effectively generates a bath house that operates as a group of synchronized swimmers, continually dispersing and regrouping, each time forming an alternative configuration to provoke visitors to engage with the bath house and each other in new and unpredictable ways. Phivos develops a highly sophisticated urban network of spaces that takes the notion of performative architecture to a much higher level – designing not only elegant room interiors in which to bathe, but also designing a much larger infrastructure able to shape the way we construct our environment through architecture.

Tutor(s)

2004
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