Vano Gvencadze + Ana Kubetsia + Gvantsa Margiani + Nina Avdalian
Milreu Fortress, in Ericeira, Portugal
2022
The University of Georgia
@vano_gvencadze + @mithobs + @the_vengeful_one1 + @anakubetsia

„The bath in itself is an ecxellent institution and from the beginning of time when wise men began errecting buildings nothing better has been built.“ — Kai Ka’us Ibn Iskandar
It has never been as urgent as it is today to provide our human form with what we lack on physical, spiritual and social levels. The concept of SAXELI has been inspired by the idea of rebuilding the lost emotional connection between one another, ourselves and mother nature, all this achieved by architecture.

The form of the ground floor mirrors The Fortress of Milreau in a new way, which is reinterpreting function, landscape and colors. This experiment challenged us in a way to create a concept that shows us how once a military functioning building can be looked at as the inspiration for the form of a place of an absolute peace. We placed the bathhouse right next to The Fortress of Milreau to emphasize the visual and functional contrast as the symmetrical harmony and coexisting of darkness and light. Furthermore, the new form is regenerating historic background of the site, reuniting the western and eastern cultures, while cautiously placing monumental shape in the ground and rhythmically repeating natural forms of the cliff by the bath house outdoor pools.

The intentionally hidden undeground part of the building creates an illusions of less actually becoming more as the visitor is decending into the experenice of encountering the natural wonders: ocean, cliff and sky. The once plain trip to a local bathhouse gradually transmits sensual adventure with the temperature, sound, lights and scents. This is the deep sense of salvation and comfort that the touch of one’s body being immersed in hot water can bring to both the body and the spirit by preserving traditional culture of chronological transitions between spaces.

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