Sofia Saey, Temporary bathhouse in Tokyo
For my bachelor thesis I am designing a bathhouse in Tokyo. I want to merge the onsen, natural hot spring bathhouse outside the city, and the sento, public bathhouse in the city, into one bathhouse located in a park in the middle of the historic koto-city.
The history of bathing in Japan dates back to the Edo period. Since the beginning, the Japanese believed that bathing not only washes the body, but also cleanses the soul. The Japanese bathhouse, a word with deep communal meaning. A place where people can be with people in the most natural way. A place to get clean. A place to warm up in the dead of winter. A place to reconnect with the old ways of Japan and the spirit of the local community.
The bathhouse tradition is slowly disappearing in the Japanese culture, I want to keep this old tradition flowing. By placing the bathhouse in a peaceful place like a park in a city, this way I ensure the natural world and the urban environment to live as one.
By using landscape-like structures (hexagon) and natural materials such as bamboo the outside world is combined with the bathhouse. I also used traditional tatami ratio for the roof and the walls. Giving thanks to the old tradition is achieved by placing semi transparent cloths with an old painting of how people used to bath in the past.