unisa architecture and interior architecture annual exhibition 2021


Emma Ruggiero

bachelor of interior architecture

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Zenith Prize in Interior Architecture


A pool and a planetarium in harmony- æther connects both typologies with its hybrid design + connects people through convivial design principles. The first thing in view is the hybrid of both typologies- two semi-spherical structures representing the æther between space + water. Both are surrounded by pathways to observation. On the ground floor the pathway is water, the mezzanine, space- with LED screens covering the floor for an immersive experience ‘into the æther’. Both typologies are encompassed by the need to float, therefore weightlessness is the common denominator + was integral in informing design decisions. The inverted dome pool is heated to the average body temperature, with its water containing a high level of Epsom salt- depriving the sense of touch + creating weightless. The surrounding pool is chlorinated, the change of depths allowing for people with differing abilities or comfort levels to interact with the water. The mezzanine is a dry zone, for those who don’t want to swim. Domes of differing sizes + opening heights have been designed with interior LED lining and mesh floors so patrons can lay down + experience weightlessness while remaining dry. The outdoor gazing area was designed to facilitate real star gazing- mirrors + LED screens heightening the experience.
æther aims to create conviviality with hybrid typologies by providing a unique shared experience.


always was, always will be Kaurna land

website and design

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