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Book 7 — The Retribution HarperCollins, Book 8 — Cross and Burn HarperCollins, Book 5 — Broken Ground Little, Brown, Val McDermid will be returning with her next intriguing and exciting novel featuring Karen Pirie. Stranded Flambard Press, Series: A collection of short-stories. A second hour-long adaptation of the other half of Clean Break the novel.


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Both Brannigans were directed by Melanie Harris. Brannigan gets involved in a madcap chase across Europe as she tries to unravel a series of art thefts. My first published work, this was adapted from my first attempt at a novel. I wrote the novel when I was about twenty, so of course it was full of all the things that year-olds know about — love, hate, angst, the meaning of life and, naturally, a suicide attempt in the penultimate chapter.

The initially free placement of volumes began to obey certain laws. One important rule is seen in a sketch by Thomas Durisch, pictured above. It defines the relationship between ceiling slab and pillar block: the ceiling slab of a stone table must always be placed flush with the pillar block on one side or at a corner. Since daylight penetrates the joints between the tables, those blocks that are flush with the edges of the ceiling have direct daylight from above: twice a day - if the sun is shining - light at different angles washes the wall of a block all the way down to the floor.

The sketch pictured to the right works with an invisible system of ordering lines that run at right angles to each other and lend cohesion to the composition of the floor plan: every pillar block marked yellow on one side in the drawing is aligned with the side of at least one other block.

In order to determine the lines of cohesion in the composition of the final floor plan, we started with the free-hand studies of the blocks, looking for places of spontaneous correspondence and reinforcing them by shifting single blocks or walls to the. When we did that, we noticed that there was a slight jolt in the tension of the composition that went through the entire field of blocks.

But not everything is arranged in this way. We tried to find the right balance between relaxation and tension, between freedom and system. At one point, I remember taking a renewed interest in the composition of Piet Mondrian's paintings. The joints were a concern from the very first draft. There were joints on the ground in the earliest quarry pictures and block studies: notches, runlets and depressions, grass growing in them, with water from the slope and water from the spring.

And the first sections we envisioned already had seams of light, cuts in the stone through which light penetrates from above, light filtering through thin cracks. Seams of light. Gradually, in the process of shaping the stone, we learned to distinguish between lateral light entering the building from the valley, which is not specifically perceived as daylight but rather as a panorama view; points of light from traditional skylights, which we reserved for the indoor bath; and a special kind of atmospheric illumination created by slits in the ceiling, through which shafts of light wash certain walls.

Since the slits are a mere 6 cm in width, the ceiling joints between the tables are not conventional skylights. Very little light is visible in these joints themselves. The light is perceived primarily as an illumination of the walls and the floor, which, like a sundial, traces the course of the gun. The study to the right shows a glazing detail for a still relatively wide gap between the ceiling slabs. Only later was this gap reduced to the atmospherically right width see detail on page , top. Floor patterns. Each block not only has its own ceiling slab but also its own foot slab.

The "foot slab," as we call it, consists of a rectangle of stone strips of varying width. They are lying on top of the concrete floor. The pattern of these rectangles, their geometry, is not identical to that of the ceiling slabs; it is made visible on the floor by changing the direction of the stone and varying the patterns from field to field see the black plan, page : large fields separated by joints, a right-angled mosaic.

The floor plan above studies the relationship between the ceiling joints that cast shafts of light on certain walls yellow lines and the floor joints that conduct the water blue lines. Water flows in the joints of the floor. All of the drains and overflows required to operate the baths are worked into the linear pattern of the floor mosaic, including the overflow of the pools. The early sketch to the right shows the basic idea: the water flows over onto the top step of the stone stairs leading into the pool.

The resulting film of water laps over into a joint in the stone floor from which it runs off see the detail of a built drain on page Thanks to this overflow detail, we were able to fulfill a long-cherished wish, one that had arisen while we were still working on block studies and stone models: pools filled with water up to the rim and flush with the floor, no shadow frames around the water's edge! Joints in the floor. The joints that subdivide the large fields of the floor pattern fulfill various functions. The sketch was drawn at a point in the design process when we were trying to integrate the joints required for drainage and expansion into the linear structure of the pattern.

The blue lines indicate the joints in which the water runs off the stone floor. They are absorbed in the floor pattern. The red lines indicate the joints in the floor pattern, in which no water flows. Most of these also have a parallel yellow line representing the expansion joints of the building. The construction necessitates cutting along these lines through the stone floors and the concrete slab underneath, which means that, in this case, the floor pattern is identical to one of the building's expansion joints. The red lines without a parallel yellow line indicate those parts of the floor pattern that could not be integrated into the geometry of the technical joints.

They are lightly circled in pencil. Using large outdoor models, we studied ways in which the combination of daylight, coming in through the joints in the roof, and the water below could create a specific atmosphere in the rooms; we wanted to learn how to stage the effects in a meaningful way. And because we imagined that the air in the shadowy mass of meandering hollows in the baths would always be humid and the floors of stone would always be wet, we built our models out of stone or out of aerated concrete and filled them with water in order to observe the effects created by daylight under those conditions: stone and water, shadow and light.

We staged the daylight by cutting small openings into the ceiling slab suspended between the pillar blocks of the indoor pool, an idea inspired by the cupolas in Turkish baths. In the Rudas Baths in Budapest the points of light are multi-colored; in Vals they are of blue glass. Public baths were equipped with healing long before Vitruvius' time, but in the tenth chapter of the fifth of his Ten Books on Architecture he was the one to introduce the concept of hypocausis, and since it derives from the Greek, the origin of the invention seems clear, despite equivocal documentation.

Archeological excavations prove that there were elaborate floor heating systems in ancient Greece by the third century BC. According to Vitruvius they involve a system of underground pillars upon which the floor rests and function, from an engineering perspective, in much the same way as a radiant healing system: the hot air spread out among the pillars, a furnace - the praefurnium - was constantly fueled with dry wood.

This furnace was also used to heat the water for the warm and hot baths. Later developments produced tubuli, earthenware pipes which were installed vertically behind the walls and through which the warm air was able to rise upward.

Vitruvius never learned of this wall healing system, archeology dates its first occurrence at around AD. Technological progress and the increasing size of the public baths throughout the Roman Empire led to an enormous consumption of wood, already in the antiquity ecocritics like Pluto and Pliny warned against soil erosion and forest decline, according to Marga Weber in her in-depth book about antique bathing.

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As time went on, the necessary firewood had to be transported from more and more distant provinces, where some of the forests still haven't grown back to this day. Vitruvius Morris Hicky Morgan, trans. There are various photo series of the. A comparison of these images reveals not only the different methods in which the camera can be used to make the space and the material experiencable and how this experience can be depicted, it also reflects the architecture's shifting character. Margherita Spiluttini photographed the bath in , the year after it was inaugurated, her space-conveying images frame blue-green and brown-red colors, giving a feeling not only of mood but also of temperature.

She builds her compositions according to classical rules, the light-dark values are balanced, the lines and contours are parallel to the edge. She looks for a frame in the picture, creates depth by ordering levels and planes, concentrates on a vertical axis, which does not necessarily correspond to the central axis of the frame, this produces a symmetry in the original sense of balance.

Like jewels, the handrail and supporting brass or bronze stanchions descend with the steps into the water. Ina manner of speaking, each photo series shows a different aspect of the design concept. For Peter Zumthor, one idea in thinking about architecture has been present from the beginning, namely, to plan the building as a pure mass of shadow, then to add light as if it were a new mass seeping in.

The next step is to go about lighting materials and surfaces systematically and to look at the way they reflect the light. In her walk she looks for detail and depth, proximity and distance, she seeks to combine bath in one photograph. She makes the daylight pouring in through the joints and openings her primary design element, she lets the light glisten deep below the surface of the water and trace stripes and conical patterns on the high stone walls.

Her camera moves in close and closer, eye to eye with the stone, shows what man has tossed aside, like towels, or left behind, like the dark traces of wet footprints: bathers take the water with them when they leave the pool and in this way produce temporary, unexpected patterns on the floor. The photos inform: about the mood, about the lighting, even about the sound.

Interiors are like large instruments, collecting sound, amplifying it, transmitting it elsewhere - writes Peter Zumthor. Hans Danuser captures an aspect of this sound in his photo series from , Vals-stone-grey, he seems to portray the room in its role as a resonance chamber, here, in a sense, it becomes clear that the room reverberates: to the rhythm of the walls, in unison with the square apertures in the ceiling, in three-part harmony with the stairs.

This photo series presents the Indoor Pool without water, the space looks like an empty stage, like a backdrop, stairs step up and step down, corners leave narrow cracks open, the room plays itself, shows what it is capable of. Several times each season musical evening events are organized at the Therme, on these occasions the circulation and ventilation systems are switched off: Without water the Indoor Pool is transformed info a concert hall with four sets of steps as sealing. Here the sound of string instruments merges with that of the empty basin, accents ricochet from wall to wall, from floor to ceiling - writes Annalisa Zumthor.

As the director of the Hotel Therme since , she organizes a diverse cultural program for her guests and edits a semiannual in-house publication entitled Stone and Water. During regular bathing hours, the Therme seems to adapt to the conduct of its occupants: if they are loud, it amplifies their excited cries in all directions, if they are quiet, it radiates contemplative tranquility from every surf ace. Annalisa Zumthor, in: Hotel Therme Vals ed. The temperature of the water inside each bathing area is written on the wall beside the entrance of the individual blocks in graceful brass numerals.

Blue symbolizes cold, water, air, and the infinite. In the Roman bath the abrupt temperature change from the hot waters of the caldarium to the cold waters of the frigidarium was considered the acme of health and pleasure, of communal relaxation and refreshment. Immersion in the flowing water of the Jewish mikvah, by contrast, is purification as a requirement for recurring life. The legendary medieval fountain of youth is water from which a person, assuming he or she has grown old, emerges rejuvenated. The Ice Bath at the Therme Vals, by virtue of its interior dimensions, lets one partake of this invigorating experience alone, the icy shock can thus be expressed freely and individually, as if in reciprocation aloud gurgling issues from the overflow gulley, which, as in the other pools, is integrated into the top step.

Between the blocks there is a meandering open space. The blocks themselves are hollow. They contain cavities, they accommodate rooms that can be used. This basic idea was there from the outset. It means that the architectural composition offers users of the baths two types of spaces: the meandering, interconnected space between the blocks and the introverted rooms within the blocks themselves. The latter are intimate, almost like hiding places, a little bit clandestine. Distributing the weight of the blocks and weaving the spatial structures were guided and inspired throughout by the underlying idea of using the rooms for the rituals of bathing.

Between the blocks there is a space that connects everything as it flows throughout the entire building. The meander, as we call it, is the empty space between the fullness of the solid stone blocks; it is a designed negative space. Working on the shape and arrangement of the blocks always meant working on the course and shape of the meander. For the guests in the thermal baths the meander is a large, shared space in which to circulate. The structure of this space is like a fabric. The passages branch off every which way end are intertwined. Moving around in this space means making discoveries.

You are walking as if in the woods. Everyone there is looking for a path of her own, of his own. It is in the meander that I experience the baths. The meander receives me in the narrow passages built up against the mountain slope; it leads me into the wood-paneled antechamber where I leave my regular clothes behind end become a bathing guest; it takes me out onto the stone gallery where I curiously muster what spreads out before and below me; it invites me to stroll around and discover the landscape of blocks end basins.

I then move from the mountainside to the valley side, from the shadows into the light, from introspective passages to the great vistas facing the valley, where the blocks are aligned in a long sequence offering me bath a view end an overview. A framed landscape. The slope on the other side of the valley, the landscape, reaches into the building.

We see large, silent images. Then comes the transformation: I walk into a block, into an antechamber clad in red wood and walk out again as a bathing guest, out onto the gallery and my first view of the baths. This is followed by a zone where I can stroll around in the landscape of basins and blocks accessed by a long stone staircase.

And finally, at the lower front edge of the building, I reach the quiet areas for resting and gazing. The empty space between the blocks, a varied, meandering continuum of spaces with a peacefully pulsating rhythm, invites bathers to stroll and tarry. Spaces close, spaces open. The series of sketches on this page explores the sequence of spaces, from entering the baths to the first point on the gallery that affords an overview.

Guided movement through masses of stone, changing light from above. In the earliest sketches, facilities and resources were already experimentally embedded in the landscape of blocks: pools of water, warm and cold gushing waters for contrast bathing in the slope at the back, waterfalls, rivulets Hollowing out the blocks, assigning, seeking and finding bathing experiences, inventing hollow shapes and matching uses for the delight of the bathers - all these thoughts played a vital role in the design process.

One aspect in particular took increasingly concrete shape in the course of our work: the wish to ensure a delight in experiencing water at different temperatures and in different spatial situations with variations in the lighting, the colors, the climate, the materials, and the sound; close contact with stone and water; immersing oneself in water for relaxation, as a ritual. No noisy attractions, no intrusive stimulation, only the sensation of one's own body undergoing subtle change. Hence, working on the architectural design always meant thinking about the rituals of bathing.

The architecture that we developed step-by-step inspired us to see the experience of bathing in a new light, to find new choices and forms, to leave some things out, to rediscover original forms.

Christal Ann Rice Cooper

Conversely, studying the art of bathing influenced our architecture. A certain openness and radicalism marked the path we took, accompanied by a group of people from Vals whom the community had given the responsibility of overseeing the project. The path soon pushed beyond the boundaries of the specified program. We had retained the one basic specification of building an indoor and an outdoor pool; all the rest was open to debate as we tried to find something special for the baths in Vals.

At one point in the process, specialists in marketing and development, called in by the community, raised the alarm. They said the baths. The citizens of Vals chose not to change course. The specialists quit the team. We now had the freedom to invent and build all the different baths, the drinking stone, the sweat stone, the flower bath, the sounding chamber, the anterooms and all the other small and big things that distinguish the Thermal Baths in Vals - without having to make any compromises.

We had initially formulated our ideas in theoretical terms, ideas about the rituals of cleansing and bathing, about the mutual interaction of place, architecture and baths: ideas, wishes, dreams. We had seen many things in backs and films, but had had little firsthand experience. Only later - the foundations of the lowest floor housing the building services were already in place - did I visit the Turkish baths in Budapest, Istanbul, and Bursa. I returned from these journeys with a mental image of long broad steps leading into the baths instead of straight-edged pools.

Steps that allow the body to find its own height and position. It is also to these journeys that I owe my criticism of changing rooms in modern western baths, which, in turn, led to the idea of wood-paneled vestibules. The large domed spaces in the Turkish baths where I am received, where I change my clothes, where I rest and relax after bathing, where I drink coffee and converse: it is this that inspired us to invest the room where we take off our clothes with a similar atmosphere of warmth and welcome but in keeping with our own cultural context. A photo, in a special way, shows the aesthetic potential of Vals stone slabs cut in three thicknesses: the camera seems to hover directly above the water, tries to grasp the space and its contours, but this is precisely where the image is doomed to fail because only personal experience recalls actual dimensions.

It shows other special features, however, which come out more clearly in the photographic representation, how the stone was processed for example. And though it is layered no differently than in the other spaces, here the edges of the individual slabs have been broken. From on, and prior to that during the construction phase as well, Henry Pierre Schultz photographed individual indoor and outdoor spaces of the Therme Vals, captured the site and its structures, the landscape and its formations, the traditional architecture and its materials, various postcard series were produced, and one of the most popular shots is the photo of the.

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The path to the pool leads down steps, twice around the corner, and into this interior with a 2. One can only enter and exit one at a time because the passageway is low and narrow, it is covered by a single stone slab and cannot be looked into from the outside. The polished stone surfaces of the entryway slice through the wall, opening into, or being engulfed by, the chamber, layer after layer, broken at their exposed faces, the stones extend all the way up, some forming a convex edge, others a more concave one, depending on the natural line of breakage, a brass rail runs around the room just above the water level, light shines from the depths of the pool and from the center of the concrete ceiling, bathers lean against the rail and glance upward because the high, narrow room draws the eye in that direction, also because from above a singing, a humming, a ringing seems to resound, issuing from the more or less practiced choir of those present, conducted according to the laws of sound propagation upward to the ceiling, carried and reflected by the different refraction angles of the walls.

Certain frequencies and their overtones are amplified through interference and produce a fuller sound. One's own voice as a sound source stimulates the resonant frequency of the room as a cavity resonator and seems to come from somewhere else, to belong to someone else. The photo does not betray these secrets, nor what causes them, but gazing at the resplendent lights on the shimmering blue surface of the water, I seem to remember the sounds, to once again hear the oscillations of a Jew's harp which have incomprehensibly kept to themselves in this acoustic space, in other words remained in their own resonance cavity between tongue and cheek, refusing to rise: the space as a musical instrument - here as a resonance chamber for frequencies, not those of a Jew's harp but of the human voice - sounds like a stopped flute, that is to say an organ pipe closed by means of a stopper or cap at the top, also called gedackt, which is derived from baroque terminology.

This method of construction makes tones sound an octave lower, in other words, the same pitch would require a pipe twice the length if left open. This effect was not part of the original concept. In order to preserve the closed-off nature of this space, one cannot peer into it from above. This posed a conundrum concerning safety in the planning phase, one that the building services engineers solved in a way that sometimes only the nose knows: whereas bacteriological disinfection in the other pools is carried out using ozone, recognizable around the inlets by the gas bubbles and turbidity of the water, for safety reasons chlorine is used instead in the Fountain Grotto or Sound Bath.

After all, a bath attendant could mistakenly add too much ozone to the water, and in a room that is difficult to look into, it's easier to overlook a guest who bas become dizzy or nauseous. It's a highly artificial room, Peter Zumthor says, the entrance bisects the central axis from the long side of the block, to the left and right. Wanderungen [Wanderings], as the installation by composer Fritz Hauser is called, was written for this room in using sounding stones by the sculptor Arthur Schneiter.

All sounds are produced by oscillating stones - a small brass plaque outside the entrance informs us. According to natural therapists the vibrations produced by stone sounds can be perceived by the entire body and their effect is like a deep-tissue massage. Much has changed during the course of design development, the table construction, however, was present from the outset, as was the special slab suspended above the Indoor Pool. In the end, each block is connected to a floor slab, aligned flush with this on one side, it also supports a roof slab, which is aligned flush with a different side of the block and cantilevering asymmetrically on the other three sides.

The entire structure extends to a width of approximately 58 meters and cuts as far as 34 meters into the slope in front of the main building of the hotel complex, a unit erected in the s and which stands at the northeastern corner of the property like a sweeping gesture with its four rows of loggias overlooking the grass-covered roof of the Therme.

Fifteen rectangular stone blocks ranging from three to five meters in width and six to eight meters in length each support part of the roof. They are composed according to a strict grid of perpendicular lines and stand like monoliths arranged in a system of pinwheels.

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In the areas in between, there is movement - in the corridors, on the steps, in the pools, the blocks are positioned, therefore, in such a way that four of them demarcate the Indoor Pool in a pinwheel arrangement, in between, steps descend into the water or climb out, thus one block stands confidently on dry land on one side, demarcating relaxation spaces and defining circulation zones, and on the other it sinks into, or rises, rather, out of the depths. These blocks are the piers supporting the concrete roof slabs, some of which project outward more than six meters. The roof slabs do not touch, the joints between them are six centimeters wide, they assure the freedom of movement necessary for these massive elements.

Contained inside the blocks are intimate spaces reserved for special activities: bathing, cleansing, or relaxing - each is a separate world that holds its own surprise. At least seven steps descend into the water of the individual pools named after their. Inside the Drinking Stone, springwater flows directly from the source into the supplied brass cups or the hollow of one's hand.

These concrete cores, once constructed, serve as the inner formwork mold of the compound wall: working upwards 60 centimeters at a time - a precaution necessary to avoid sudden overstressing of the masonry - slabs of Valsgneiss are stacked according to the specifications of the Steinschichtenplan, or stone-course-layering scheme, the space in between is then reinforced and filled with concrete.

The order of the individual work stages is specified in the execution documents. While architecture critics refer to the building as a mushroom structure, a rock-hewn spa, or grottos, Peter Zumthor speaks of tables and blocks, of a geometric cave system and of caverns: the building as a whole resembles a large porous stone.

One factor determining appearance is the choice of building materials, these consist above all of the natural stone of the area, Vals gneiss slabs, extracted and processed at the quarry on the other side of town: all the stone roofs in the village use these slabs. For the Therme, the stones are given a rough-sawn, bush-hammered, ground, or polished finish, the walls are built according to the exact specifications of the stone-course-layering scheme using three different slab thicknesses, during the construction phase this outer wall also serves as permanent outer formwork mold for the reinforced concrete wall on the other side, or in between: in the design documents this construction method is referred to as Valser Verpund, and has gone down in architecture history.

The outer wall is thus both the outer skin and an integral structural component that absorbs and helps carry the loads.

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The various types of design documents enable a reconstruction of the building process, allow a reading of the building's structure: there are construction drawings, details, and publication drawings, there are stone-course-layering schemes and design plans that specify the structural layout of the ceilings and floors. There was no construction or engineering precedent for the entire building and therefore no way of relying on experience either, each detail was calculated and specified by drawings.

It was an enjoyable process for all the companies and workers involved in the project, says Peter Zumthor - not just for himself. The entire building is of a single mold and a single material: stone. Stone, that is to say sand, gravel and cement mixed to make concrete, and gneiss from Vals. A visible distinction between the superstructure and the subsequent use of cladding or covering on the surfaces of the building is the exception. For the most part, the structural work, the superstructure, is already the finished building.

We look and walk around in the primary structure; where the water flows and is contained. The anatomy of the finished baths, the immediacy with which we experience their construction, matches the quarry pictures that we started out with. Artificial monolith. We achieved our design goal of producing large stone masses with a monolithic appearance through the layering of long, thin slices of stone. All these many superimposed slices of different thicknesses create an expansive, layered pattern, an intricate horizontal stratification of the kind one might also see in nature.

The masonry devised for the thermal baths is specifically designed in response to the material properties of the stone and the technique used to cut stone in the quarry. Gneiss from Vals has a platy, long-grained mineral structure; it is easy to split and can be cut economically into thin slices of considerable length. These slices or.

Vals Compound Masonry. In the construction of the baths, stone and concrete are combined in a special way: section by section, stone slices of different widths and lengths are stacked on top of each other, with concrete poured onto the back creating a firm bond between the stone slices and the "liquid stone," as seen in the drawing on page On the exposed side of the wall the slabs are stacked flush on top of each other but they are staggered in the back where the concrete is poured.

In the case of a double-front construction, as we call it, concrete is poured into the space between two walls of stacked stone. In single-front construction, one side consists of stone and the other of concrete. The concrete is then poured into the space between the wall of stone slabs on one side and formwork on the other. This method, developed specifically for the construction of our building, has come to be known as Vals Compound Masonry.

There are also walls of solid concrete. We used exposed concrete for all the walls built into the mountainside that are accessible to the public and also inside the blocks, where the concrete is pigmented. Expansion Joints. The building materials and the construction of the thermal baths must meet extremely exacting demands. Building materials move; they expand when it is warm; they contract when it is cold.

Building materials change shape when they bear loads, when they are subjected to push and pull. Such forces have an exceptional impact on thermal baths: big pools of water are filled and emptied; enormous loads are imposed and removed. There is also a great difference in temperature and humidity between in- doors and outdoors. In order to cope with problems of this kind, construction engineers generally work with preplanned "cracks," so-called expansion joints: they divide the architectural volume into sections which can each independently expand or contract, rise or fall.

The open joints on the floors and ceilings, incorporated in the design from the beginning, proved to be fortuitous. The mighty ceiling slabs above the pillar blocks, made of prestressed concrete, can move freely. The sketch on page 69 shows how the expansion joints of the building have been integrated into the floor pattern of the specified design. For the lower part of the building, from the horizon of the water and the floors on the bathing level downwards, more complex solutions had to be devised.

The wish to have homogeneous blocks of masonry rise up out of the water without any horizontal joints and to have the stone pools and their stone environment experienced as a single, connected mass led us to construct these parts of the building correspondingly. On page , one can see the block of changing rooms and the long flight of shallow stairs leading down to the bathing level, the latter designed to glide freely on the ceiling slab of the water treatment area below.

The front of the building facing the valley appears as a monolithic element of several stories, the top of which once again evolves into a table, and one is amazed to realize that the entire block of changing rooms above the ventilation and water treatment. The principle: at the top where the structure is exposed to wind and weather, to the climate change between indoors and outdoors, it is divided into smaller sections that allow movement.

The basement containing the maintenance facilities, which supports the entire structure, is a homogeneous unit. The building is situated in the groundwater. It was imperative to avoid joints in the basement unit. The basement floors are a plinth that holds everything together but its construction is soft enough to absorb the impact of movement from above without impairment.

The system of insulation varies throughout the building; it is adapted from case to case to suit the architectural and structural givens. It was our goal to work the insulation into the structural mass of the building in such a way that the body of the building could retain its structural integrity. Layers of insulation cover the side of the building facing the mountain and the roof, where it is underneath a layer of soil.

This system applied to the exterior of the building is known as perimeter insulation. Double- Here a layer of insulation is placed between the walls of the pillar block made of Vals Compound Masonry, which supports the roof slab, and the freestanding concrete box within the void of the pillar block. Connection between windows and insulation. In order to connect the large, insulated glass windows with the insulation on the roof, a slit cut into the ceiling slabs above the windows was filled with insulation material.

Before the building was finished, one could see the two separate parts of the ceiling projecting independently from the pillar blocks. Transverse steel supports through the dividing slit were not necessary. The part of the ceiling that projects outdoors in front of the windows is strong enough to be self-supporting. To connect the windows with the wall insulation of the adjoining block, we added a T-shaped piece of insulation to the sides of the windows, which were then incorporated in the bonded masonry.

The long crossbar of the T is walled into the masonry at a right angle to the window and parallel to the insulation, which is inserted between the two walls of the pillar block. It overlaps the insulation of the wall by at least 70 cm. This reduces the so-called thermal bridge effect, that is, the flow of heat between indoors and outdoors. And in addition, the wall of the pillar block meets the structural requirement of remaining intact.

Two different systems were used to protect the building from groundwater and rainwater, to avoid uncontrolled overflow in the pools and gullies, and to waterproof the stone floors in. So-called rigid waterproofing consists of waterproof concrete or bonded masonry. Waterproofing is achieved by reinforcing the concrete sufficiently to prevent cracks.

However, a certain amount of humidity still seeps through. And since possible leaks cannot be ruled out entirely, this method can only be used if the back of the wall that is exposed to water on the inside is unobstructed to allow observation and maintenance at all times, and if it does not have to satisfy any aesthetic requirements. The floor slabs of the building, the underground services of the baths as well as the pools and water reservoirs are all insulated in this way. All those parts of the building that had to be waterproof but which maintenance could not access freely from the back or from below were sealed with a so-called liquid membrane, a seamless synthetic coating that is applied like a coat of paint: the roof, the wall of the changing rooms facing the slope, the floor of the areas in front of the showers and around the pools on the bathing level.

The detail above shows the comparatively simple construction of rigid insulation in the Flower Bath and the considerably more complicated construction for the lateral application of liquid membrane around the indoor pool. The numbers one to eleven in the round circles, each assigned to one component of the building, show the 11 steps involved from pouring the first wall of concrete in the basement to laying the stone floor around the indoor bath. First the small concrete base 5 must be poured, the floor sealant 7 must be wrapped up the side of the base, and a wall of five stones constructed in front of it 8.

Only then can construction of the compound masonry begin, in this case, the double-front construction in which concrete is poured into the space between the two walls of stacked stone 9. The example is telling: the integration of waterproofing, insulation and expansion joints in the stone mass of the building required a high level of complexity in the invention of customized construction and work procedures. The building looks simple. The complexity is hidden in the mass. The stone bond. It all adds up: we had the stone slices cut in the quarry to three thicknesses, 31, 47 and 63 millimeters.

These three thicknesses along with three mortar joints of 3 millimeters each yield a total of 15 centimeters. The entire stone mass of the building is based on increments of this basic unit: the floors, the lintels, the sills of windows and doors, ceiling soffits and all of the stairs. The reason: the 15 centimeters correspond to the height of a step. In order to weave these layered stones and joints into a fabric whose texture flows in an even, uninterrupted rhythm, varying sequences of the three thicknesses within the centimeter grid were selected and defined.

With the same objective of generating a regularly irregular image, special cornerstones were selected for each of the, corner bands and executed according to plan. Between the corner bands, the stone masons were free to choose the length of the stones, though with two specifications: a minimum overlap and a minimum overall length of each stone. Designing nature.

Marc Loeliger developed the "Stone Laying Score" pictured on this double page, to be used as a manual of instruction for the stone masons on the construction site. The masons, who did an excellent job, were disappointed for a brief moment when the slits in the ceiling were opened for the first time. The shafts of light washed the walls of their finished work, causing tiny irregularities in the stone bond to cast dramatic shadows. But watching this optical illusion, which at first sight seemed to suggest a job poorly done, soon turned into pure delight.

Sparta, the capital of Laconia, a province in the southeast of the Peloponnese, was one of the leading city states until roughly BC. The Spartiates, the privileged master class among the Spartans, were members of the warrior caste and had political rights - unlike the rest of the population. From the age of seven their sons became charges of the state and were subjected to rigorous training intended to prepare them for war and make them obedient, when they were twenty they would begin military service, where they remained until they turned sixty.

The Spartiates developed new fighting tactics and tested these successfully in battle, they ensured the sacred truce during the Olympic Games and continued to command the Greek troops for a long time. Not just their military, however, but their political leadership was uncontested also. Plato of Athens described their constitution even during their decline as exemplary, and their comportment remained impressive under subjugation: the Romans occupied Greece in BC at which time stilus laconicus became a familiar Latin expression.

Laconis illa vox, for example, as Cicero put it, meant an utterance in the art of the Laconians in reference to their reputed deftness in the art of simple, terse communication and carried the figurative connotation of a taciturn, closed person. By the seventeenth century, some European languages had incorporated this Latin term into their vocabularies.

Another word in this context has also survived over the ages, albeit only in historical and technical terminology:. Greek model, the Romans adopted this special institution found in the Laconian military baths, including the athletic and social rituals that went along with it, and made it the foundation of their own bathing practice. In the fifth of his Ten Books on Architecture Vitruvius' instructions are precise: Laconicum sudationesque sunt coniungendae tepidario, in other words: The Laconicum and other sweating baths must adjoin the tepid room, which for functional and economical reasons should occur in the same area as the heated rooms.

However, they were not integrated in the sequence of normal bathing procedure - frigidarium, tepidarium, caldarium, and back again - it was therefore up to the male bather whether or not to subject himself to these temperatures, women were not required to make such decisions because the laconicum had no place in the women's sections of Roman baths to begin with.

The fact that Vitruvius mentions other sweating baths in addition to the Iaconicum implies the need for differentiating between types of sweat rooms: the laconicum was something typically Greek, in other words foreign, and this type of bathing area was not generally installed in public baths. Archeologists have clearly defined it as a dry-heat sweat. Vitruvius' instructions called for a circular floor plan and a semi-spherical dome, the radiant heat of the central heat source would gradually cause the people seated in a circle around it to start to sweat. There is an aperture in the roof, from which a bronze disc hangs by chains, by raising and lowering it, the temperature can be regulated.

The Greeks themselves called their sweat bath pyria derived from pyr, fire, and it is via this circuitous route that the Latin word purus comes to mean pure, clear, even blameless and is more of a philosophy, more of a religious matter than a physical state. This fire bath along with various baths of different temperatures and the out-door pool constitute the standard configuration of the Greek bath. It basically consists of a small insulated room in which one sits around a pit filled with glowing lava rocks or coals and waits for the hot air and radiant heat to take effect.

Usually this bath-house is near a lake or other body of water, as it is shown on various Greek icons depicting the legend of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste in central Anatolia: Herded together and undressed, forty Roman soldiers stand on the ice-covered lake on a cold winter night, they have been sentenced to death by freezing for professing their belief in Christ.

One of them can't stand the agony and takes refuge in the bathhouse on the shore, the smoke rises from the opening in the roof. A guard converts by joining the dying soldiers, and thus the predetermined number is restored. Nothing remains of the water and steam from these bathhouses.

Both, however, are essential elements of the Islamic, Turkish, or Moorish bath, which derives from the Arabic word hammam meaning to warm. As part of hygiene and at the same time as a ritual act in preparation for prayer, washing plays an important role in the Islamic way of life. This includes the weekly bath at the public bathhouse on Friday prior to visiting the mosque, but in addition to the physical cleansing this also serves the purposes of relaxation and social interaction - similar to the Roman thermal baths and the Byzantine bathing complexes it was modeled after.

The evolution of hammam architecture is closely tied to the mosque and the Islamization of the Arab people in the seventh century, and under the Umayyad dynasty it spread from the Indus in the east to the Pyrenees in the west in the span of a century. According to the prescriptions of the Koran, only flowing water is cleansing, so in this sense bathing in a tub or swimming in a pool is not considered cleansing.

A hammam basically consists of a large entrance hall, an intermediate room, and the sweat or steam bath, the main. There are benches and fountains for washing along the other walls, up above, vaults or domes shed light through small round or star-shaped openings. The body, sweating in the heat and steam, is massaged at the center of the room on the navel stone, a large marble platform, which, like the floor, is kept warm by hot air circulating in channels just beneath the surface, the warm air and water used for washing are tempered in the adjacent heating room.

After being massaged, one washes at one of the surrounding fountains before returning to the entrance hall, which offers rest for the body, contemplation or a stimulating conversation for the mind. In this way, Islamic bath culture takes its inspiration from the Roman thermae and enriches it with influences from the occupied Byzantine and Persian territories, after the Umayyads conquer Spain in the beginning of the eighth century, this building form continues to evolve, producing all possible variations throughout Europe, and is set forth by the Osmanian Turks in the Balkans and in Hungary up until the seventeenth century.

Meanwhile, from the late eleventh century on, Oriental baths are discovered on the Crusades and brought back to medieval Europe, where, up until the fifteenth century, public sweat baths enhanced with herbs and petals inspire the sometimes bacchanal fantasies of many a painter, engraver, and poet. This age also gives rise, if only linguistically, to the Yiddish schwizbod, which has never known any of these pleasures, but whose only purpose is to provide men with their weekly cleansing before Sabbath, keeping them out of water made unfit by Christians.

Then again, maybe that's not how things happened at all. The principle of sweat and steam baths existed in Central Asia long before Greek antiquity: at around BC, Herodotus, the oldest Greek historian, embarks on long journeys to Asia and Africa, he describes among other things the bathing rituals of the Scythians, Iranian nomadic herdsmen who come from Central Asia or Siberia and occupy the Russian steppes by the eighth century BC.

In the seventh and sixth century they barter with the Greeks along the Black Sea, trading luxury items and metal goods for wheat. As nomads with no permanent settlements, their sweat bath is a tent covered with a feIt blanket, at whose center hot steam on red-hot stones strewn with hemp seeds produce an intoxicating effect.

Presumably it is they who teach the Greeks how to sweat. And since things with cultic origins tend to be copied, it spreads to the north, where it is adopted by the Finnish people as the sauna and becomes their symbol of national identity,. The original meaning and local tradition of the Finnish word sauna is wooden bathhouse, but this is only distantly related to what this term has come to mean internationally.

In the end, not only does the Greek fire bath go down in history as the Roman laconicum, but over the centuries, as European bathing practices evolve, this Greek invention also assumes the role of an interpreter, serving as mediator, negotiator, explainer, and translator in the original Latin sense of the word. One thing is certain: by the fifteenth century the Church puts a temporary end to these wet, frolicking escapades, for nearly three centuries Western Christian civilization must, for the most part, get by without the public bath and the pleasure of communal bathing.

Non-Jews were allegedly always surprised at the cult of cleansing practiced by their Jewish neighbors, whose families seemed to be cleaner and healthier than others. According to Buber the water doesn't collect or gather, but it backs up in one place, so that dry ground may appear, he uses direct address from the start, things and people are not called this or that but called to: God called to the dry ground: Land!

The mikvah differentiates between clean in a physical and a ritual sense: in its ritual sense it is close to life, every living thing dies and yet isn't dead and will be born again, it is a process that continually repeats itself, death is integrated into this cycle and anticipated on specific occasions in order to become new life: such occasions are the major celebrations of the year, the special events in the life of an individual, the weekly preparation for worship on the eve of Sabbath.

It is prescribed as a ritual bath in the Mishnah, whose root word is shanah, to learn, literally to repeat what one was taught, it comprises the orally transmitted explanations, studies, and interpretations of the Jewish teachings written in the Torah. Together, the Mishnah and the Gemara, which arose later, make up the Talmud that consists of several hooks, is the compendium of discussions, dialogues, commentaries, interpretations, decisions, and conclusions of those sages who, for centuries, have pored over the scriptures of the Torah, which was handed down from Moses and the prophets, and tried to interpret their content in various ways, using this to structure everyday life, holidays, and ceremonies.

In the sixth of its six orders, the Mishnah concerns itself with the laws of cleansing, making reference to its understanding of the prescriptions God imposed on his people in the Book of Leviticus, the Third Book of Moses, where Moses is called upon directly to speak unto Aaron and his sons. The Levites were priests and sons of Aaron, temple servants who alone had the privilege of performing certain cultic functions during sacrifices, which is why this book is commonly named after them, but Buber also translates word for word, thus he gives.