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Trenton Bath House

Ewing, USA
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The design work was productive for Louis Kahn, despite the lack of commitment from his client. He attributed the germination of his philosophy of servant and served spaces to the Trenton Bath House.

This nine-square plan is based on a tartan grid, with the narrow zones providing the square corner piers and rectangular servant zones. The corner piers are the primary structure of the buildings, and also serve for entrance, storage, access to vaults, and shelter for toilet facilities. The rectangular zones provide for circulation around the inner square focal point of each structure, and at the locker rooms provide natural light.

The Bath House designs also foreshadow other of Kahn’s work, such as the Salk Institute and the Kimbell Museum in the treatment of landscape. The Trenton site designs focus on the creation of rooms, largely through closely placed tree bosques. The landscaping creates a progression of spaces leading to the structures. Even the Day Camp pavilions are shown in vignettes as in a clearing in dense trees, an enclosed outdoor room; in reality, the pavilions are in an open field, and no planting was ever done.

999 Lower Ferry Rd.