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Harbour Bath in Aarhus, Denmark, by Bjarke Ingels Group

Aarhus’s new baths extend the public realm into the water, revitalising a former industrial area

Many piers originally provided bathing facilities, as salt water was regarded as a curative and swimming also had therapeutic benefits. At the baths, which opened last year in Aarhus harbour, BIG collaborated with urban designer Jan Gehl to recast the pier’s healthful, sportif functions in a sybaritic melange of bathing pools, sun decks, promenades and saunas. Yoked together in a vaguely nautical, multi-level timber structure, it effectively extends the public realm into the water, revitalising a former industrial area. It also has a generosity of scale, use and corporeality, exhibiting that refreshing Nordic disinhibition around the comportment and public display of bodies. Lying on the same latitude as Edinburgh, Aarhus demonstrates that the myriad pleasures of al fresco bathing need not be confined to warmer climes. 

Big harbor bath

Big harbor bath

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 Photography by Rasmus Hjortshoj

 This case study is part of Typology: Pier. Read the full article here

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