The pure, respectful gateway: public baths and service centre, Pool Valley, Brighton.

This term’s exploration by second year student Gary Kachun  Fung.

My project in first term was to design a device to collect samples from the elm tree bark. The device was solely driven by the natural breeze from buses passing by, providing kinetic energy to the brush on my device to brush natural substances off from the bark. The pH level of the sample indicates how well the air quality is within the particular area.

My hypothesis was that the results would show the air quality in Valley Garden to be poor due to the rapid development in the city. The results can then be used to raise the public awareness on air pollution in order for people to take actions to improve the air quality and public health.

Developing my interest in health and transportation, for this project, I began investigating Pool Valley where the coach station is located. In researching the history of my site, I discovered that it was the place where the first public bath was built in Brighton, which led me to further investigate the history of European bathing culture.

Leading on from this, I developed a programme for the design of a public bath and service centre for both local people and tourists. My proposition will become the first place for tourists to visit on arrival in Brighton by coach, before they explore the city, and give the chance for locals and tourists to meet, interact and share different experiences.

Historically, public baths played an important role in the community as places to come and meet, chat and relax. I believe it is appropriate to bring back this idea to the contemporary city to promote the importance of social interaction. A critical part in my design strategy is inclusivity. Everyone will have the right to access and use the building, no matter how poor or rich they are; or what background or country they have come from.