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Escaping down the Rabbit Hole: A Subterranean Bath House in Park Circus

Part 1 Project 2015
Lewis Allan Mcneill
University of Strathclyde Glasgow UK
The journey begins at the former wedding registry found behind the unassuming façade of 22 Park Circus. ‘La Casa’, built in 1872 by the famous Glaswegian Architect Charles Wilson, became the rabbit hole to a new subterranean Bath House below.
The Bath House was viewed as an escape. Strongly influenced by the book Alice in Wonderland, bathers are encouraged to lose themselves on their underground journey. No tangible views to the outside and indirect light from above allow bathers to detach from the real life and feel like they have entered another world.
The sequencing of spaces was based on the “Eat Me, Drink Me” narrative, in which Alice grows and shrinks, alternating her perception of the space she inhabits. An understanding of proportional systems – The Vitruvian Man, Corbusier’s Modular, van der Laan’s Plastic Number – led to the development of an Alice in Wonderland scale, making bathers feel either too small or too large for their surroundings.
Under the now pedestrianised Park Road, bathers swim through variety of heated pools away from the stress of the city. The journey culminates with an uninterrupted view over Kelvingrove Park in the final pool, highlighting the escape from the city to the park.

Lewis Allan Mcneill


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