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Culzean Hydropath

Part 1 Project 2013
Bruce Doran
Mackintosh School of Architecture Glasgow UK
The Culzean Hydropath, is a modern interpretation of the Nineteenth Century hydropath movement, valuing the therapeutic qualities of water, offering an alternative to medicinal treatment. Water and landscape are the catalysts through which the Culzean Hydropath establishes a refuge for those seeking therapy from stress related illness. An escape from the city; a therapy for stress, hosting up to 8 residents for short stays, and up to 20 non - resident users per day.

The hydropath residency is located in the grounds of the Robert Adam’s Culzean Castle on the West Coast of Scotland. Situated within the sublime ‘Capability’ Brown derived landscape, designed by Thomas White, the proposal forms a response that is rooted to the context within which it is placed.

The design of the hydropath is based on a simple concept, creating a journey through a series of internal environments, that reflect the narrative experience of the occupant, before opening up to a key threshold on the site, where the user feels a sense of immersion within the landscape.

The sustainability strategy for the hydropath presents a holistic design that focus’ on harvesting energy loss, improving efficiency and reducing consumption. The choice of materials was considered in relation to the construction, resource and environmental impact of the design.

The hydropath experience is designed to be personal and unsupervised as much as possible. This sense of mystery and discovery is further iterated through the outermost form of the design, a series of blank monolithic walls within the dense woodland. The building acts as a narrative framework within which the user initiates an interaction of water, architecture and landscape, instituting a sense of wellbeing.

Bruce Doran


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