Platz 20

September / Oktober 2017

The Royal Danish Academy

Protective Skins

For a possible future

von Sebastian Gatz


The Royal Danish Academy








Freizeit- und Sportbauten


Rhino, Grasshopper, Processing

The project speculates about a public bathhouse for a possible / nearby (dystopian) future, developed around the two UN Goals - Climate Action & Good Health and Well-Being.

The proposal is called "protective skins" and it is about a divided (but related) architecture: a private suit and a public bathhouse - both protecting the human body from different kinds of pollutants (airborne pollution, missing ozone layer, nuclear radiation (wind), acid rain).

The proposal is tested in a counterfactual time line on the Japanese island of Hashima – but represents a general proposal.

The building functions as a cleaning machine: cleaning suit, human body, environment, and itself.

Analytic computational bottom-up methods were developed around the human body (informing suit and architectural program) and transferred and adapted to the scale of the building: blending the skins of protection and making the building conceptually to the body (with its organs, structure, skin, and metabolism).

The proposal wants to question architect’s romanticized image of nature and the idea of protection solely as a binary on/off condition, as a possible way to rethink our architectural boundaries in general.

Additionally, it asks for a critical incorporation of pollution in design – away from pollution as an image and away from seeing pollution as something remote (in terms of time and space).