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Culzean Hydropath

Part 1 Project 2013
Emmeline Quigley
Mackintosh School of Architecture Glasgow UK
Throughout the last year I have been studying the relationship between architecture and both emotional and physical well-being. My proposal for a small Hydropath in the grounds of Culzean focuses on providing a place of retreat and release for those suffering from chronic pain. The form and organization of the Hydropath has been developed alongside research and investigation into the chronic pain condition and how architecture can become a form of therapy in itself.

A Hydropath is a centre where water therapy is used for the relief of chronic conditions. The tradition of hydrotherapy has been embraced by various cultures for centuries, with some of the most elaborate architecture celebrating the pleasure of communal bathing and water therapy.

Responding to a detailed brief, the Hydropath reinterprets this ancient tradition for the 21st century, within the context of Culzean Country Park. The path of the water leads the visitor through the building, through various water therapies aiming to provide long term relief for chronic conditions, attempting to break the cyclical nature of chronic pain. In addition to this, the building aims to utilize water in the creation of a sustainable environmental strategy, which significantly reduces energy demands and engages in passive haus principles.

The building is located between two water sources, the swan pond and the sea, separated by dramatic and distinctive coastal scenery. The founding principles of the building derived from observing the existing natural architectural character of the site. The contrasting extremes of the exposed cliff edge and sheltered, sculptural caves carved out over years of water passing through them informed the basis for the architectural language of the hydropath.

The form of the building marries together its spatial, environmental and structural performance. Taking it’s precedent from iron age structures and the nearby 17th century castle, mass, permanence, structural & environment are explored. Thick, inhabited walls are created using sustainable straw bale construction, with a double concrete skin allowing for a rough and exposed external finish protecting a polished and precious internal wall.

This is a building which celebrates the physical qualities & environmental potential of water to create an architecture that is subtle and restrained in its impact within the natural landscape.

Emmeline Quigley

Tutor(s)

2013
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