NCMA Sponsored Studio Design Competition

First Place


[Professor Jeremy Ficca with Mike McNutt]

Carol, NH

Mountainside Landscape Render

A bathhouse for the individual, adventurous hiker. The hiker is the rough and rugged type who can appreciate and be in tune with the subtly of nature. The bathhouse is furthering these characteristics across the built form and replicating the experience of hiking through the woods. It aims to contradict a typical, understandable built form to become a piece that the user must discover through moments. It is compact to create individual experiences by particular spatial qualities, turns, views and material transitions. The building has a richness of fragmentation and complexity to instill curiosity, exploration and discovery in the user.

Experiential Render

E/W Section

Bathing Program Level Plan

Living Program Level Plan

Material Experience and Component Diagrams

Moment Experience Watercolor Vignettes


The bathhouse is on a steep mountainside by Saco Lake in Carrol, New Hampshire. It is set far enough back from each trail such that the Appalachian hiker would have to make a choice to trek an additional hike to reach the location. This slightly unattainable accessibility creates an experience of approach by making a visit to the bathhouse a rewarding experience, such as bushwhacking to a remote waterfall.

User Concept Diagram



The three original basins explored monolithic architecture and natural inspirations. The plinth is in situ concrete that is made from a rough formwork to give the effect that it is a rock formation growing out of the earth. The plinths step with the slope of the land to create multiple levels with heightened views and be minimally invasive to the land. They have the spirit of ruins that are there to be discovered or a collection of boulders that are to be summited for their view.


The canopy is a asymmetric timber butterfly roof designed to give the impression of lightly hovering structure that unifies the composite concrete mass below. Two oculi penetrate it and allow light into the first two pools. The third pool is uncovered by the angle of the canopy such that the frigidarium experience is one of complete openness to nature and temperature. All three pools then become oculi for light through their basins into the living spaces below.



 There are three wall systems comprised of concrete to concrete masonry. 1 | The in situ concrete plinth system where the walls give the impression of rising out of the rocky earth. 2 | The composite system bridging the plinth with the canopy where the pool walls become the oculus walls. On the inner face they are a polished concrete to reflect light and heighten the experience of being in the water. Their exterior is a split face 4” x 8”x 16” concrete block that is felt when transitioning down stairs between polished pools. 3| The 8” x 8” x 16” concrete block is used as a system to create levels of enclosure. The first pool has three of these walls that extend to the roof, the second pool has one along its border that extends five feet and the third pool has no enclosing walls. This transition of enclosure allows the bath procession to open up to nature more with each transition. 

1/4" Model                                                                                                                                 CNC Base, Laser Cut parts

Exploded Parts 1/8" Model

Circulation Analytical 1/4" Model