The built environment in which we live grows into an urban continuum. The structural logic of this continuum is defined by Manuel Castells as a division of our world in two separate spaces: a ‘space of place’, the actual physical place we live in and a ‘space of flows’, a virtual space that more and more structures and organizes our lives, the (infra)structural elements.
Thus we live our lives in two spaces, both having their own inner logic and characteristics. Whereas the ‘space of place’ is organized as a space for slow movement, built on the scale of men and focussed on the importance of identity, the space of flows is organized as a space of fast movement, on the scale of the car, depending only on continuous movement and change. This clear distinction between the two worlds leads to an unavoidable separation of the two spaces. A separation clearly marked in the urban landscape by desolate areas of land, certain in-between spaces that are needed to buffer the difference in scale in order to prevail conflict.
The design of MOSA~IC is a research in such an in-between space, a small strip of land near highway-junction Europaplein in Maastricht. It transposes the urban characteristics of the area into one architectural object. Analogue to the urban section its composition is threefold: on ground level, an intimate space for a thermal spa is created. The many different volumes of which the spa consists reflect the small scale of the nearby dwelling area. Out of the small elements two larger volumes arise: the Olympic 50-meter pool and the diving pool. Their size, shape and position relate to the junction and the highway.
The composition of the volumes along a spiral provdide for an in-between space to originate. In contrast with the designed mass of the baths this is a “non-designed” open area which main purpose it is to buffer the internal scale differences of the program. In fact, it transforms the urban in-between space into an architectural in-between space.
Graduation project (2005)