In our consideration about how to use the Vltava River we have to think in the broader context. The river is essentially the biggest free area in the city centre. It offers immense potential as a part of the city public space. It is a place citizens would have a natural need to go to.
Floating baths have tradition in many major cities in the world. They are in New York, Berlin, Vienna and other metropolises. They attract visitors to have direct contact with the river in busy city centers. Floating objects do not block the waterfront with new develepoment. They supplement the urban structure with regard to its existing relationships.
In the Czech Republic, public floating baths started to spread during the 19th century. In Prague alone there were several of them – the Military Bath and the Civic Bath under Letna, a bath called Spackarna by the Smichov rail bridge or a bath on the Slavic Island. These baths were popular until the second half of 20th century. Their downfall was caused by nationalization and deterioration of river water quality.
Our vision is to bring this forgotten tradition back to Prague. In close distance to the busy city centre we insert a place for rest. For our floating baths we suggest several suitable locations in the city.
WE WANT TO RESTORE RIVER BATHS TRADITION IN PRAGUE
- bath diameter 50 m
- swimming pool lenght 25 m
- 24 privat cabins
- access on pontoon bridge or by boat
- river water filtered through special membrane
- bath uses energy from the river
- bar accessible both from pool and by boat
- sauna and steam bath
- pool for children
- lounge with deckchairs
- changing rooms and toilets
Structure of the bath is wooden and it is built on the pontoon made of reinforced concrete filled with polystyrene. The bath consists of modules and could be disassembled into individual parts.
Each part can be transported by tugboat to another place and there put back together. The size of modules respects the proportions of the lock chambers on the river.
The membrane lets the river water through into the pool and at the same time it filters out dirt. The principle comes from the same membrane now being developed by ARUP for floating baths in New York.
The surface of the circular pool could be used in winter as an ice rink. The baths would be in this respect used almost the entire year and would bring back another forgotten tradition.
The bath could be located in several suitable places on the river with various distances to the city centre.
Creative Gate - Jindřišská pasáž
Jindřišská 5, 110 00 Praha 1
+420 723 531 325
This project was published in the following media: