MSA Stage 5 School of Architecture

Arran Walters

Route of Ritual: Movement of Water & People

Route of Ritual: Movement of Water & People

The final design thesis aims to explore the development of an existing route which follows the Huveaune River, becoming a spine of activity, and the unifying element for this neighbourhood. To encourage this, in one instance I will introduce an urban sauna at the beginning of this journey which focuses on an introverted form and the verticality of rising steam to connect land and sky. I will then make three light-touch interventions along that journey down the river which explores themes deriving from the components of ritual, all of which have a function that is influcenced by the rhythem of the rivers flow. These moments follow this recognised route, leading to the sea front, where the core component of this proposal sits, in the form of ocean baths focused on the horizontal at this important junction where the river meets the sea. The primary design proposal seeks to blur the line between sea and land, creating a seamless continuation of the route down the river, to the ocean baths, and then diverting the route back to Marseille. This concept draws inspiration from the natural erosion of the coastline, which leaves behind the distinct definition of planes deeply embedded into the landscape with the movement of people below mirroring the movement of water, eroding the landscape and carving out paths.

In this time of climate emergency, this project aims to convey the importance and significance of water, not only in fostering life, but also culturally in connecting people. Marseille is represented through a wide variety of religions, cultures and ethnicities stemming back from its history and location along the Mediterranean coast. All of which have deep roots and traditions connected to water, with the diverse cultures represented in Marseille all sharing their own unique relationship with water through distinct rituals.