Herbert Hasell Aquatic Facility
Charleston, South Carolina
The Herbert Hasell Aquatic Facility is an oasis in a traditional African-American neighborhood. The roof line extends visually to float in space and announce its presence.
For the users of the facility, the experiences of floating offer a respite from the "heat" of everyday circumstances. Floating in water approximates absolute space with zero gravity offering a sense of liberation and buoyancy; floating in light transcends to suspended existence.
The spatial strategy is tied to the site strategy. The building is oriented to take advantage of the breezes that blow east and west across the peninsula. The orientation of the building allows for moments of shade to cover exterior areas as well as the bending of light in the interior that draws parallels to the experience of refracted light in the pool.
Masonry walls form a heavy vessel to contain reflected and refracted light. The roof of the building floats above the vessel revealing the sky and light from above. Tectonic and spatial joints form "reveals" as specific thresholds of reflected and refracted light.