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Louis I. Kahn Bath House, Day Camp, Green & Parking

Modern Landscapes

Louis I. Kahn Bath House, Day Camp, Green & Parking
Ewing Township, New Jersey

The famous Bath House and Day Camp designed by Louis I. Kahn is located at the Ewing Senior and Community Center, formerly the Trenton Jewish Community Center, NJ. Today, this beloved facility is being adapted for daily use and intensive summer programs for residents of Ewing Township, Mercer County. Contemporary needs for parking, access and outdoor programming require resolution. In 1955 Kahn was commissioned to design a suburban community center on a 40-acre site. Kahn developed a series of studies exploring the geometry of forms and proportional relationships for architecture and landscape. Heritage Landscapes studied in detail the archival collection of Kahn’s conceptual sketches and construction documents, gathering these rare documents into a chronological design report, and employed them. The Bath House project, with four equal pavilions and related courts and pools, was a breakthrough for Kahn and is a modernist architecture touchstone. Partially realized in the 1956 Bath House and Pool facility and the 1957 Day Camp pavilions, Kahn’s geometric spatial concepts for landscape and community center were unrealized.

The award-winning projects to preserve the iconic Bath House, with a new snack bar, landscape and upgraded pool deck, and reconstruct the Day Camp pavilions, are complete. Addressing a degraded, unbroken asphalt parking lot, the Green and Parking project shapes a functional, aesthetic and sustainable landscape setting for the iconic Bath House. Heritage Landscapes proposed a conceptual approach that respects Kahn’s realized work and is informed by his unrealized landscape concepts. Embracing the opportunity to organize land uses in accord with proportional geometries and sympathetic details, the project provides a new community Green, improved pedestrian movement patterns, reorganized drop-off, handicapped access and parking, and enhanced stormwater management. Green and Parking construction documents are targeted for fall 2011 construction.

Client:
Mercer County Planning, Ewing Township Senior & Community Center, New Jersey

Project:
Green & Parking Construction, 2011; Bath House & Day Camp Construction, 2009; Master Plan 2008-09; Landscape Research, 2007.

Project Credits:
Heritage Landscapes, Preservation Landscape Architects & Planners, team lead FMG Architects, Civil Engineers