WHAT Public Thermal Bath WHEN 2013-2014 – ETHZurich WHERE Bodio, Switzerland
STEPS is a public thermal bath in the Bodio valley (Ticino – Switzerland). The project is structured around two main characteristics.
Technically, the building manages to cool down the Gotthard tunnel hot water, while harvesting its heat as an energy source. Architecturally the building is based on a sober architectural expression concerned with the valley’s identity. Overall the building emerges from the downhill slope and ends on the Ticino riverside.
Inside, the continuous space enfolds as many thresholds under a single linear roof. Each threshold materializes a stage of the cooling process. The visitor can walk along this water path, or simply swim in the pools. It is a progression from small baths confined to a rather narrow space, down to an increasingly large one that hosts fresher pools. Bath after bath, one can swim back and forth, while enjoying a journey within this thermal gradient.
Eventually, the building ends on the Ticino riverside, where the cooled water is released.