S(l)OSH Pop-Up – Spa of Algorithmic Knowledge and Mud-

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Project Summary

S(l)OSH (standing for ‘ slosh= to move through mud’) is a new Pop-Up Spa situated in Hackney Road, in East London. It is designed as an interactive relaxation area to be experienced through exploring and reflecting within a cavernous space, surrounded by mysterious voids, while soaking in a healing mud tub. S(l)OSH represents a new concept of fun mud house, that tells a different side of the wellness story.

The Spa aims to promote the cleaning and health rituals around the world and invite the users to become aware of the areas in need of healthy kickstarts. The new concept started from the idea that spas and relaxation areas are generally luxurious places to relax and heal and sometimes they are too expensive for the general citizen. S(l)OSH wants to bring healthy hedonism to the city while boosting urban areas that need a little support, while making the cleaning and health rituals accessible and fun to everyone.

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Bathhouses, spas and saunas have long been part of cleaning and health rituals around the world. Mud baths have existed for thousands of years, and can be found now in high-end spas in many countries of the world. Mud wraps are spa treatments where the skin is covered in mud for a shorter or longer period. The mud causes sweating, and proponents claim that mud baths can slim and tone the body, hydrate or firm the skin, or relax and soothe the muscles. It is alleged that some mud baths are able to relieve tired and aching joints, ease inflammation, or help to “flush out toxins” through sweating.2aOpportunity

The design is composed of layers of horizontal wooden planks that follow the mathematical formula of a Scherk’s Minimal Surface geometry of a continuous surface, placed in and around a shipping container. The Spa has been designed after several form manipulation and shape iterations of the initial system, followed by massing of standard bath tubs in a tight space. The proposal stands somewhere between the realms of both sculpture and architecture – a spatial construct where movement through will encourage intimate social interaction, and a full emerge into the relaxation experience.

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Physical Description

Visually, the main part of the Spa is composed of three main areas: the reception, the mud baths and the outdoor pools. The spas includes hot mud tubes, cold water plunges, a changing area, shower and relaxation platforms. The structure will be built from layers of horizontal CNC cut wooden planks stacked on top of each other and fixed together. Internally, the bathtubes will have a smooth concrete walls to hold the liquid and make the stay more pleasant for the sitting. Despite being designed to fit in one or two containers, the spa can expand even outdoors and other spaces.

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MudPit embodies  the fun and energy of burning man, a place where you can return to your primitive ways and act as childish as you like, you may even witness a spot of wrestling if you’re lucky.

Branching Structure

Throughout the design process I have been keen to emulate and utilise the natural beauty and strength of branching structures in nature. The design was realised through a series of analogue and digital experiments looking at branching systems, slowly evolving into the design shown.  The structure is made from PVC pipe with metal framework, and is tapped into the ground, quite literally as some of the branches are drilled deeper into the ground, tapping into the Playas water table. This means that a constant and almost guaranteed supply of water will be available, lowering the reliance on providing water for the structure.

The water would then be sucked up through the pipes using either a hand pump or a solar pump and then sprinkled into the centre of the structure, creating the MudPit.

Mudpits in Nature

Mudpits within nature are important. Animals from all over the world use mud to their advantage. Elephants, pigs, rhinos and many more use it primarily too cool off and to also protect their skin from the sun. Other animals such as vultures use the mud to clean the bacteria from their feathers.

But lets not forget the importance of interaction between animals within the mud, they will play with each other in the mud creating and reinforcing strong social bonds. The mudpit is not only a place to improve ones health, it is a place to socialise.

Humans seem to relish a primitive mud fight, from festival goers to rugby players to spa lovers, many experience mud’s positive qualities on a regular basis.