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Atmosphere: A Revival Installation / Studio Rain

Atmosphere: A Revival Installation / Studio Rain
© Rachel Jayne Mackay
© Rachel Jayne Mackay

© Rachel Jayne Mackay © Rachel Jayne Mackay © Rachel Jayne Mackay © Rachel Jayne Mackay + 18

  • Architects: Studio Rain
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2020
  • Photographs Photographs:  Rachel Jayne Mackay
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Abbey Timber, CSR Cemintel, Laserlite, Metro Reusables, Sauna and Steam
  • Design Team: Angus Wirth, Alice Nivison, Rachel Mackay, Richie Northcott
  • Clients: National Gallery of Victoria / Melbourne Design Week
  • Collaborators: Fresh Prince Studio (Fabrication & Build), Sauna + Steam Australia (Wood-fire Sauna System)
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© Rachel Jayne Mackay
© Rachel Jayne Mackay

‘Atmosphere: A Revival’ is a sauna installation by Sydney-based art and architecture collective Studio Rain. The work seeks to promote individual and social wellbeing through the revival of bathing culture along the Yarra River.

© Rachel Jayne Mackay
© Rachel Jayne Mackay

The sauna takes its inspiration from Scandinavian and Japanese bathing rituals, where public bathhouses offer members of the community a space to focus on the body at a collective level. As populations rise and public spaces continue to shrink, levels of anxiety and loneliness are increasing. The work aims to address these urban symptoms through engaging visitors in an intimate public ritual. Through a heightening of sensory awareness, visitors are invited to explore deeper connections to self, to others, and to nature. 

© Rachel Jayne Mackay
© Rachel Jayne Mackay
Floor plan and elevation
Floor plan and elevation
© Rachel Jayne Mackay
© Rachel Jayne Mackay

A temporary re-activation of what was an iconic swimming destination from the 1920s-1960s, the project inspires ways in which the Yarra can be better experienced. We hope to open a dialogue about the role of the Yarra River in improving the health and wellbeing of urban dwellers. 

© Rachel Jayne Mackay
© Rachel Jayne Mackay

The design philosophy is centred on a blurring of the boundaries between personal and public space. The structure is designed to encourage visitors to explore the threshold between intimate social contact and inner stillness. Traditional materials are combined with more experimental ones so as to play with levels of transparency and obscurity. Such materials allow the natural environment to have a presence in the space, whilst maintaining an intimate and sacred atmosphere.

© Rachel Jayne Mackay
© Rachel Jayne Mackay

Designed to be completely off-grid, the sauna is a lightweight, prefabricated structure that has a sensitive footprint on the site and the environment. The structure is made from reclaimed timber, with offcuts from the construction process being reused to supply the heat. The flat packed design ensures that the sauna panels are able to be dismantled to allow for future reuse. 

© Rachel Jayne Mackay
© Rachel Jayne Mackay

As the Yarra River is currently not in a swimmable state, the artists built a ‘bucket shower’ on a refurbished diving board on the river bank where guests were able to cool off by dousing themselves theatrically with cold water. The design of the structure's slanted roof allowed fresh rain water to be captured in a sitting barrel underneath, which was then pumped into the bucket shower system.

© Rachel Jayne Mackay
© Rachel Jayne Mackay

The collective intend to exhibit the sauna as a travelling installation that will activate various swimming spots across Australia.

© Rachel Jayne Mackay
© Rachel Jayne Mackay

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Project location

Address: 1A View St, Alphington VIC 3078, Australia

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Atmosphere: A Revival Installation / Studio Rain" 30 Mar 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/936623/atmosphere-a-revival-installation-studio-rain/> ISSN 0719-8884

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