The multilayered complexity of an old building and the reminiscence of its past identity contributes to creating a unique atmosphere. The project considers atmosphere as a spatial quality that affects human perception, while exploring the notion of converting the use of a historical building.
The subject of the project is the Grade II listed Haggerston Baths. Operating as a pool from 1904 until 2000, it is currently vacant. In the Victorian Society, the urgency was for bathing facilities to be accessible to everyone. Today’s socioeconomic Zeitgeist can be compared to the lack of individual space, which has become a everyday issue in contemporary overcrowded metropolis.
The Pool becomes a centre for performing arts and creative invention. Both a physical and conceptual space, it acts as a supportive platform where the next generation of creatives can develop professional skills and artistic engagement. The project aims to integrate the new functional design with the existing heritage, creating a unique experience for both the performer and the audience. In particular, this idea of sensitive intervention drives the design strategy of the multi- purpose venue, combined with the intention of providing a flexible space suitable for multiple scenarios such as perfor- mances, fashion shows and exhibitions.
The Pool is not a preservation project and not a new architecture. The old condition and the new addition confront each other in a state of permanent interaction, offering an ensemble vision which will not allow any part to dominate the other. New, old, horizontal, vertical, dynamic, fixed, big, small, open, enclosed, all this oppositions define the character of the new hybrid space. By introducing variable possibilities of configurations, the design will promote a everchanging, open programme, where performative art and architecture benefit from each other's challenges.