d.esk: Inhale, exhale, sag, flex

One of six installations for the digital exhibition by winners of the 2020 League Prize.

This exhibit displays a proposal for using city-owned lots in Los Angeles to develop flexible, easily fabricated public bathhouses. The public bathhouse exists as an urban utility that produces an aura of collective imagination. Its primary function is to clean and relax bodies that are worked out in the city, but it’s remembered as a space where foreign bodies care for themselves in a manner that is both personal and collective. Like the bodies within, the bathhouses’ architecture is continuously sanitized and maintained. 

The proposal is composed of two buildings, the steam house and pool house, separated by a stair. The steam house, flex, is enclosed by an expanding quilt of water bladders that fill up as steam evaporates and bodies exhale. The pool house, sag, is supported by a frame structure wrapped by building paper. The paper is periodically removed and dried once it becomes wet and soggy from absorbing pool splashes and shower steam. Both buildings are interior landscapes of curtains, pipes, water, steam, plunges, and bodies, where both architecture and people unrobe and collectively self-care.