This bathhouse for conservative Jewish girls in Mexico City options a stark composition of grainy white marble by neighborhood architecture firm Arqhe Studio.
Named Mikveh Oh, the creating is a religious bath in Mexico City’s Bosques de las Lomas neighbourhood. It is applied by Orthodox Jews to clean themselves to receive purity in accordance with their religious beliefs.
Nearby firm Arqhe Studio produced the project with a stark design and style primarily based on a minimal rectangular volume that conceals its incredibly private happenings.
“In the Jewish faith the mikveh is a purifying bath,” stated architects Aby and Ramón Helfon, founders of Arqhe. “This is accomplished via the immersion in ‘pure’ water, in this case, rainwater.”
The building’s internal bath is filled with rainwater, as widespread in mikvehs, which is collected on a concrete slab on its flat roof and stored in two cisterns. No a single can touch the water just before it is applied, and it can only come in get in touch with with specific supplies.
“The tub’s water is rainwater, which ought to be collected naturally and cannot be in get in touch with with man or any material that is not stone,” the studio stated.
The bathwater is not filtered but chlorine tablets can be applied. All the pathways for the water are produced of concrete as nicely, in observance with its restrictions.
Mikve Rajel by Pascal Arquitectos
For the bath to fill, water fills a single cistern that then goes to the tub applying a “communicating vessels program”. Municipal water intervenes and is combined and purified with rainwater.
This water fills a pool in the interior of the creating, which is clad completely in white marble with black grainy lines. The studio stated it chose the stone as it “reflects the thought of cleanliness”.
Vibrant blue water from the bath is visible below a floating marble wall, which reveals women’s’ calves, ankles and feet.
“The lady ought to adhere to the perimeter of this wall on the spiral path to the centre of the project, the mikveh, which is lit with all-natural lighting from a translucid veil covered dome that tends to make the light soft and diffuse,” the studio stated.
In accordance with the Torah, a mikveh is essential for Jewish girls just after menstruation and childbirth, and just before they are married.
When bathed and dressed, the girls go to an exit that bypasses a lobby and enters a private courtyard.
“We decided to get started from a spiral idea in a way that the distribution and shape of the project leads the user to the centre of the project, in a ritual to attain spiritual cleanness and return to the purest state of man, and ultimately finish at the core, the mikveh or tub,” the studio stated.
In the lobby are a white marble front desk, grey constructed-in sofas, chairs, wood walls and other furnishings. The region is a waiting space and the only public space inside.
A bronze lattice wall behind the couches is created to aid “radiate warm light” inside the cool, cavern-like setting, as white marble is featured elsewhere on the floors and walls.
A corridor from right here accesses 3 women’s bathrooms, which act as preparation regions just before getting into the bath. Oak cladding is applied for warmth. Each and every has a door that leads to the “wet corridor”, or the mikveh, and a second door to accesses a “dry corridor”, or hallway that guides the user along a continuous grey terrazzo wall.
Outdoors, Mikveh Oh is clad in prefabricated concrete panels, sectioned with a series of slots to keep the privacy of customers getting into and leaving.
“The projects volume is rigid and sober, closed,” Arqhe Studio stated. “The interior becomes a space that hyperlinks ideas like warmth and pureness.”
The volume spans 810 square metres, and surrounding the structure are plantings and a fence for privacy that encloses the brick courtyard.
Adjacent is a project also created by Arqhe Studio, with two apartments. 1 is for rabbis who function at a temple nearby, and a different is for the female rabbi that runs the mikveh.
Mikveh Oh is in the western aspect of Mexico City, in a historic Jewish neighbourhood considering that the mid-twentieth century. The city’s central, additional upscale neighbourhood Polanco is also a Jewish neighbourhood and options several higher-finish shops, condominiums and the famed Pujol restaurant.
Other mikvehs are Mikve Rajel by Pascal Arquitectos, also in Mexico City, when Kister Scheithauer Gross’ Ulm synagogue in Germany also options the religious bath.
Photography is by Yoshihiro Koitani
Principal architects: Aby Helfon, Ramón Helfon
Group: José Cabrera