Martin Flett

  Venice Terme
  Edinburgh: Paradigm City
  Loch Larbert Folly
  Fifty / Fifty
  Hybrid Connections
  Empathetic Falls
  Tracing Images
  Holmwood House Intervention
  New Contemporaries

  Florence and Tuscany
  South Korea
  Venice and Veneto


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Venice Terme
Year 5, Glasgow School of Art

As well as forming the pends, lanes, streets and avenues of the city, the canals of Venice also performed a function as a space in which to bathe and exercise. However, modern concerns about the safety of these activities have led to their prohibition.

The project draws on eastern and western bathing tradition, forming and articulating a dialectic of two physical worlds – a wet world of stone, belonging to the ground plane of Venice and the Roman Thermae tradition, and above that a dry world of timber, belonging to the roofscape of the city and the tradition of the Turkish Hamam.

The site is on a busy tourist thoroughfare, adjacent to the Accademia bridge yet shielded by the Palazzo Loredan and only ever seen in glimpses, analogous to the public and private dichotomy at play within any bathhouse. As the project developed, the site came to be understood as a room within the city, held by the walls of the adjacent buildings, engendering a shift to an understanding that the bathing should not occur behind a wall, but in a mediated publicity.