Premise of the project: The project is refining the way it confronts the port, by emphasizing the end of the tourist promenade at the interruption of the port. The question of how much of a spa this should become and keeping it utilitarian is still a problem, needing to not become a private, tourist development on the coast as well.
The precedent of Siza’s Pools in Porto is admirable as being stripped down to essential amenities and is clearly aligned to the sea with a lovely controlled route from promenade to sea as it hides the sea before opening up again to the remarkable pools. I’ve struggled in creating such a strong curated journey through my building, wanting the complication that comes with creating crossovers between levels of privacy and different pools, however the simplicity needs to be there still.
For me you need some of the spa elements to interact with the tourism of the promenade, but basically it can be confined to: workers’ pools, exterior lido, interior heated lanes and family pools and simple spa rooms like saunas and aquatherapy pools.
It has been a long process of filing down the key gestures and moments I need to focus on, rather than getting caught up in too many programmatic relationships and forgetting the importance of the context. I definitely need to focus on the essential moments of the cuts through and views to the port, while opening up to the existing town and promenade.
The idea of a Bastion wall may be too literal as a confrontation to the port, and overkill as the Breakwater already acts as a raised barrier.
It may be better to continue play more with the moments I have developed where the pools cut through the breakwater at sea level.
This may also help in having a smoother transition from bathhouse level to the sea level of the lagoon and beach, hiding behind the breakwater.
A succesful aspect is the culmination of the promenade in a framed piazza at the port border, which turns people back to the bathhouse entrance so they enter from the portside back through the bathhouse, emulating the idea of the bathhouse as a transition from dirty to clean and port to town. This needs to drive the narrative of the building even more.
The materiality is coming, though I need to be clearer with the idea of a heavy enclosed concrete wall to the port and have a mroe refined sense of how that transitions to an open bathhouse. It is clear taking on completely contrasting curved forms is unsuccesful and it isn’t useful to take such forms from leisure centres. The whole project can be quite modest.
I will explore more of the ways simple, light structures can contrast to the heavy concrete front.