On a small strip of land between the Emscher River and the Rhine Herne Canal in Germany sits a rest stop whose colorful appearance belies its radical purpose. The structure’s artful design consists of pipes leading from two toilets and the Emscher (the most polluted river in Germany) that converge at a small community garden and drinking fountain. The garden is, in fact, a manmade wetland that collects, treats, and cleans the effluence from the toilets and river—making it drinkable.
Spas, swimming pools, and saunas are spaces to which we turn in search of positive experiences, especially healing and sanitation. What characterizes all of these spaces is a requirement to wear little clothing--or even none at all--meaning that these spaces have very different expectations regarding nudity, privacy, and the human body when compared to other forms of architecture. From the point of view of design, nudity requires specific spatial conditions, forcing architects to think carefully about details such as the opacity of materials and the dimensions of space. With this in mind, this week we present a selection of the 15 best images of healing spaces, captured by renowned photographers such as Kevin Scott, Clément Guillaume, and Marcello Mariana.
The impacts of architecture on the quality of human life are often debated, and in the 21st century, projects are under greater scrutiny than ever for the experiences they provide for people. Buildings all over the world must address a specific context, responding to the cultural framework of their users.
In light of this, we’ve gathered 8 projects that have a different sort of user -- projects designed not just for people, but also for animals. Ranging from zoo buildings to aquariums, stables and shelters, these projects have the unique challenge of balancing a human and animal experience. See them all after the break.