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New Roman baths – catharsis in the Lagoon

San Giacomo in Paludo students group 1

Maria Carretero Fernįndez, Marion Le Coq, Maddalena Iovene



The idea is to create the place of peace and silence, to give the message that peace won against war (also in a military place) and also because tranquility is one of the most beautiful things you can find in the Lagoon of Venice. With this suggestions we would like to create a bigger system in which are involved also other five islands, to give the opportunity to enjoy these places at the same time.

In particular, we concentrated on San Giacomo in Paludo Island, where we would like to create a kind of Roman Baths, fulfilling the entire ancient buildings with water, and creating an external skin in order to permit people to walk around the swimming pool being covered.

In addiction to this, we use a very simple constructive element (a wood portal, covering a glass box) to make light enter in different ways, like it was an arabic lattice. We think that wood can be well integrated with the architectonical but also natural landscape of the island, so that the impact won’t be so strong.

The image that we want to achieve is a kind of protective and light shell in which people can feel calm and relaxed. They have to follow a precise itinerary in order to purify not only their bodies but also their souls. This has to deal with the Greek catharsis, which was spiritual and material. Later also Platone took this idea to use it in a spiritual way: it stood for the soul’s purification.

It is curious how we use the defensive element, which is typical of a fortified place: as a matter of fact we protect the ancient building with a second skin, but this time it will be a light and thin  “wall”.