Architectural research initiative arch out loud has released the winners of its’ DMZ Underground Bathhouse international open ideas competition.
arch out loud challenged designers to explore the possibility of creating an underground bath house within the Korean Demilitarized Zone which responded to the surrounding geopolitical conditions. New forms of non-military architecture could occupy the border zone and begin to ease the existing tension.
38th Parallel, Checkpoint/Changing Room, and Entrance to Double Helix Ramp
Visitors from each side approach the theater by walking along the 38th parallel: approach towards a same point on the line, become closer, but turn to opposite directions, and enter the theater. After passing by the checkpoint and the changing room, they confront again, but with distance.
Double Helix Ramp as Stage and Audience
While walking down the double helix ramp, visitors experience series of emotional/physical merging and diverging, moments of crossing uncrossable lines (projected 38th parallel line on the ramp), while being more away from each other.
Here, visitors become actors and audience at the same time; each observe each other’s feelings, while passing through layers of tension and relaxation: a process of accumulating ambivalent communal emotions.
Upon reaching communal pool, all emotions experienced before are liquefied into water; debris of emotions brought by actors / audiences compose pools of emotions. Now, a performance without playwright is played by visitors’ spontaneous conversations, and by wave in the emotional pool. Source by STUDIO M.R.D.O. & Studio LaM.