Sutro Baths

Office of Cheryl Barton awards

1993 Honor Award, American Society of Landscape Architects;

1993 Award of Excellence, California Council, American Society of Landscape Architects; 1993 Award of Excellence, The Waterfront Center

Since construction of the historic Sutro Baths (now gone), there has beer shift in our real and imagined relationship with nature. Nineteenth Cer:. artists painted portraits of an idealized nature - as if nature and culture v.€ separate and distinct. The Emersonian view considered nature to be that w was immutable. Now we know we can mutate everything. Today, artists IN the portrait, negotiating a complex contract with the planet. In contempc landscape design, exposing these ambiguous, even conflicting, notions of na* and culture can be as inspiring as resolving them. The Sutro Baths project o at re-imagining form on the basis of an inquiry into specific natural and cu^ factors operating on the site. The intent is to create an environment that enric public life and - just possibly - readjusts attitudes towards nature.

Sutro Baths is now a 'contemporary ruin'. Just as the original author of the Si used technology of his time to create them, the technology of our time is use REcreate the Baths on a site where twentieth century environmental constra make physical reconstruction possible. A laser projection plays on the eleme forces of the site: fog and wind. A full scale computer generated wire fr image - continuously projected from a booth on the roof of the visitor center superimposed with the actual ruin foundations. Fog is the scrim or screen w makes the image visible. Wind is the element which affects the completenes the picture. Only on rare occasions when the conditions are exactly right wi entire image be visible; it is as silent and as ephemeral as a rainbow. Perce the image will require a strong awareness of the site's natural phenomena awareness akin to that of aboriginal cultures who frequented the site as a seas fishing ground.

T Laser 'Ghost Structure'.

Model, in fog with new visitor center. \ Bath ruins.

i Sandy Cove - pre-Sutro Baths. Initial design sketch.



T Site context (foreground).

Bathhouse, night view. \ Bathhouse, daytime view. —> The grand stairway. <— Bathhouse interior.

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