University of Pennsylvania, PennDesign
critic: Kutan AYATA.
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Rajika MAHESHWARI & Roza PATTAH: The Natatorium condenses the European coastal culture of cove hopping from town to town; the arched trajectories of this pilgrimage are inverted and brought indoor to a Natatorium, promoting exploration and meandering from pool to pool within the building.
The organic form of the coast lines are deliberately and artificially compressed within the datums of a traditional pier structure and then manipulated through hard and symmetrical edges that push against the natural. The new Natatorium on Pier 26 challenges the polemic of pier extrusion typologies that fall to the conventions of Shed Buildings along the Hudson River. However, unlike these precedents the Natatorium engages the periphery through edge and rooftop circulation. Visitors enter from Hudson River Park at ground level and ceremonially travel up to the wet and dry floors. Each pool has been altered to create an ambiance relevant to its purpose, while maintaining an engagement with the urban front.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
RM & RP: Peter Zumthor, Kutan Ayata/Young & Ayata, Trahan Architects, Chilean marble caves, and agate geodes.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
RM & RP: Reading: Peter Zumthor, Atmospheres and Stan Allen, Landform Building. Listening to: Radiolab; George Ezra; What So Not; Kygo; Sam Smith; Ed Sheeran; and Calvin Harris. Watching: Breaking Bad, Black Mirror, and Game of Thrones.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
RM & RP: Young & Ayata, SHoP, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Coop Himmelb(l)au, and Heatherwick Studio.
Additional credits and links:
Sameer Kumar – Facade Consultant, Director of Enclosure Design, SHoP Architects.
Shaina Saporta – Structural Engineer, ARUP New York.
Ben Shepherd- Sustainability Consultant , Atelier Ten.