Cerritos Bathhouse

Originating as a technical program requiring only the repair of deteriorating waterproofing and drainage, we reinvented the concrete bunker facility with a minimalist sustainable, open aesthetic. The $800,000 budget was re-allocated to eliminate, instead of replace, all existing mechanical systems, storefronts, enclosed rooms, false ceilings, and traditional entryways. We eliminated the requirements for daytime artificial lighting by introducing skylights and removing louvers to create clerestory openings, thus permitting natural ventilation and 100% day lighting. Fluorescent lighting provides for emergency and night use.

The limited program and our desire to create a sensuous bathhouse, responsive to the psychological need for privacy, resulted in a minimalist approach to both form and materials. Two sinuous walls create circulation fluidity while the thoughtful degree of their undulation enables a continuous view from the entrance through to the pool area. Separated private bath areas provide a secure yet visually open central zone reserved for staff space. Interior walls lowered to their minimal heights improve sound, light, and air diffusion.