Healing the Urban Fabric
New Cultural Center and Baths in Marianske Lazne, Czech Republic
Bachelor of Architecture Thesis Project
This project is located in my hometown Marianske Lazne in the Czech Republic. Marianske Lazne is known for cold healing mineral springs and beautiful nature.
Due to the town’s location close to the German border, it has been affected by a number of significant historical events in Europe. For example, before WWII, Marianske Lazne was part ofthe Czechoslovak borderland annexed to Germany, which meant the expulsion of Czechs, Jews, and left-wing Germans from the town and resulted in the Night of the Broken Glass when the town synagogue was burned down. The timeline identifies events of erasure throughout the town's history highlighted in orange.
The historical events of erasure are made visible in the town because they leave behind a series of gaps resulting from buildings that were destroyed. The mapping drawing shows that these gaps in the urban fabric remain as empty lots throughout the center of the town.
The most important of the springs and the diverse geology that affects the minerals in the waters are shown in another mapping drawing. The town is designed around a number of pavilions that shelter the individual springs and the visitors walk through parks between the pavilions.
A study of the urban fabric of the town shows several building typologies. Many of the houses have an inner courtyard which was part of the 19th-century guesthouses. The courtyards were accessed by horse-drawn carriages that entered the building through a wide arched passage. Some of these passages are still preserved.
The site is adjacent to a park that connects to the historical center of the town and leads visitors to the largest spring pavilion and a colonnade. This project is an extension of the park and references the historical precedents of the colonnade and the courtyard. The building is proposed as part of a larger cultural district to enliven the town center and includes a bath to continue their tradition in the town.
The historical typology of the colonnage is newly interpreted as a CLT arch structural system that connects the old and new. The arches support tall significant spaces in the building such as the indoor pool area of the baths, the new colonnade, and the lobby of the art gallery. The exterior is defined by the rhythm of the structural arches. The height of the building is in proportion to the historical colonnade.