Addressing the challenge of designing a calming recreation space in the heart of burgeoning Southwest Washington DC, this natatorium taps into the anticipatory quality of the area’s fragmented urban pattern and the historic quality of materiality and scale to serve as a quiet reminder of the necessary integration of rejuvenation in the fabric of daily life.
Contrasting the dynamic quality of the city, the building’s stillness is manifested in the strength of a singular concrete solid. Circulation paths of metal, wood, and glass cut into this solid, outline the natatorium’s bathing pools, and present residual spaces for communal and personal renewal. These circulation ‘brackets’ vary in scale to create a variety of interior conditions and regulate light penetration and solar gain.
Student design project
Instructor: Elizabeth Emerson
American Institute of Architects, DC Chapter 2013 Design Award of Merit, Unbuilt Category