Rintala Eggertsson Architects have designed FLYT, a Bathing installation at Fleischer brygge (Fleischer Park) in Moss, Norway, which not only promises relaxation and wellness in an urban and industrial setting, but is also a work of art in itself.
The project is the outcome of an art-in-public-space competition that the municipality of Moss organized in 2018 to revitalize a former industrial area west of the city centre as a part of their 300 year anniversary. The competition was won by Rintala Eggertsson Architects with the proposal FLYT – with several bathing installations placed on floating piers in the sound of Moss. After negotiations with landowners, the project was moved to a nearby location where two of the installations were redesigned to fit with pre-existing piers. A third installation was placed inside the adjacent park to house secondary functions, to strengthen the axis towards the city centre, and to give the park area a more human scale. The third pavilion is set to be realized before the summer of 2021.
Bathing Installation: Inspiration from industrial structures in the area
The bathing installations consist of two strucures; a) the diving tower with a lookout platform and a light installation, and b) the sauna both of which will be open to the public year-round. The installations have drawn inspiration from industrial structures in the area: cranes, chimneys, silos, gantries, etc that have defined the cultural landscape around Moss harbour for more than two centuries. Therefore, the solution was therefore to expose the loadbearing components and separate them from walls, floors, and ceilings in order to make them stand out as visually comprehensive to the public.
Spectrum of colours into the top of the diving tower as a reflection
As the project was developed in connection with the 300 year anniversary of Moss municipality, it was important for the design team to mark the relationship with the history of Moss that was significant in the first steps towards independence from Sweden and subsequent development of democracy in Norway. The Moss convention between the two states was the beginning of a development that ultimately led to parliamentarianism and the multi-party political system that now dominates public policies in the country. The architects wanted to add that as a layer to their installations by projecting a spectrum of colours into the top of the diving tower as a reflection on how governments come and go, sometimes represented by left-wing politicians, other times politicians from the right-wing, and often times by coalition governments of different sides of the political spectrum.
A visual and haptic experience
The installations are made out of a series of wooden modules that play with the idea of repetition similar to shipping containers, but is a system that also invites people to think of the installations as toy blocks that are being stacked, almost like an invitation for the public to play with.
The installations by the waterfront will, in many ways, function as physical barriers to the sea, but are interactive as they will also function as gateways to the sea, a threshold defining the edge of the seaside promenade. Therefore it was important to give them a distinct scale and an architectonic expression different from the surrounding blocks of flats and closer to human proportions. The design team found it natural when working with functions so related to the human body to use more organic materials with texture and physical character that would offer the visitor a haptic experience of the installations rather than merely a visual one.
The outcome is a functional, yet visually compelling set of installations that make outdoor bathing in the central area of Moss much more accessible to the general public.
Location: Fleischer brygge, 59.436374, 10.656793
Client: Moss municipality
Construction period: 10.04. –15.12.2020
Construction budget: NOK 4M
Art committee/competition jury: Hanne Tollerud, Trygve Nordby, Eva Talberg, Torunn Årset, Silje Hobbel, Berit Kolden and Thale Fastevold
Curator: Thale Fastevold
Project management: Moss municipality; Berit Kolden
Design: Rintala Eggertsson Architects
Lighting design: SML lighting
Text Credits: Rintala Eggertsson Architects