Water Temple

Concept for an elevated bathhouse that explores water as cultural material



“The Water Temple project reimagines our shared relationship with water in public spaces…” Antonia Lippmann and Ivan Paul Thorley

The Water Temple is an illuminated water temple structure designed for people to interact with in public space. Installed consisting of Mikado-like recycled wooden beams constricted at centre, this One-Joint-Construction cradles a moon-shaped pool, cradling a translucent basin or reservoir.

This concept structure invites participants to float in the elevated illuminated heated pool, where water is held on a transparent lining. When participants are bathing, their floating bodies are visible from the ground. Underneath the structure, participants interact with watery cascades and relax within an enclosed heated sanctuary.

This simple, harmonious architectural design allows multiple perspectives to be experienced, alongside an emotive soundscape, responsive lighting and contemporary performance ritual.

The structure acts as a catalyst for exploring water as an interactive material and examines water as a living entity, as cultural being and something central to our lives. The project is a multi-dimensional water spectacle where different artistic approaches and cultural engagement can exist.

This piece is in development and we are seeking commissioning partners.


Interested in booking this show? Please download our booking pack here.


To read about how we engaged young people in the local community with this project, download our engagement blog here.

Cast & Creative

Ivan Thorley, theatre-artist, designer-maker creates art to disrupt big spaces with surprising visual performance elements that animates interaction between people, place and space. Kew recently commissioned Ivan to engage families with the newly renovated Temperate House developing work around themes of extinction and conservation, inspiring over 35,000 families. Within this project Ivan developed and delivered robust in-house evaluation procedures to report back on the outcomes of this engagement work to project partners. Ivan also recently delivered an 18 month engagement project in Battersea for 8 to 11 year olds in one of the most deprived estates in London.


Antonia Lippmann Architects was founded 2012 in Berlin. Antonia graduated from Bauhaus-University Weimar in 2009 and held positions in architectural offices in London and Berlin. Antonia Lippmann is an architectural artist and designer who unites visionary ideas with social coherence, working to unfold architectural uniqueness. She’s designed buildings for multigenerational living and created a concept for a multiuse green river transportation system and floating cultural venue in Berlin. Her current commercial clients include International Airport Berlin and consumer supermarket EDEKA. Antonia is on the design committee of Freiberg, Germany and consults on their Historic Buildings Renovation practice.