• Segregated Bathing Space
Natalie Alima
Bachelor of Interior Architecture

Within Australia's multicultural society, ethnic groups are often encouraged to abandon their cultural traditions in order to assimilate to western customs. This design research project focuses on women's experience of ethnicity and encourages the reinvigoration of their rituals through the design of a bathing space.

This segregated bath house, located in the abandoned vaults in St Kilda, includes a series of culturally specific programs such as the Japanese onsen, Turkish hamam, Jewish mikvah and a recreational pool for Muslim women.

Due to their cultural or religious beliefs, these women are currently hindered from utilising existing public bathing spaces due to their strict agendas around visibility. A hidden entrance to the bath plays on both the cultural secrecy but also larger ideas of women's social invisibility. Hidden from the naked eye the vaults maintain the mysticism of ritual and provide a portal for women’s bathing practices.