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Pools, Baths and Lidos: Baths and Bath Houses

Explore this gallery of images of baths and bath houses from the RIBA Collections.

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Baths of Diocletian with Santa Maria degli Angeli, Rome

RIBA7993
Michelangelo (1475-1564)
SOURCE: Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Vedute di Roma (Rome, [1747?-1788]), pl. 116 NOTES: The Baths of Diocletian were built in 298-306; the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli occupies the central hall of those Baths. Michelangelo designed the conversion in 1563-1566 for Pius IV, but Vanvitelli altered the church in 1749.

New baths and washhoses for the Parish of St Pancras, Tottenham Court Road, London

RIBA10078
Gundry, Horace (1841-1900)
SOURCE: Builder, vol. 35, 1877 Dec. 8, p. 1224

Passmore Edwards Public Library, baths and washouses, Hoxton, Shoreditch, London

RIBA10901
Hare, Henry Thomas (1861-1921)
SOURCE: Hermann Muthesius. Die Englische Baukunst der Gegenwart (Leipzig: Cosmos, 1900), pl. 23

Imperial Villa (known as the Terme di Baia), Baia: Tempio di Mercurio

RIBA16970
SOURCE: Paolo Antonio Paoli, Avanzi delle antichita esistenti a Pozzuoli Cuma e Baja (Naples: 1768), pl. 54 NOTES: The ruins of the Terme di Baia represent the remains of a Roman imperial palace (1st century BC-3rd century AD) where the so-called Tempio di Mercurio formed part of the baths. Its dome is thought to be the oldest example of a large-scale dome, pre-dating the Pantheon.

Bath building

RIBA19773
Thomson, James (1800-1883)
SOURCE: James Thomson. Retreats: a series of designs, consisting of plans and elevations for cottages, villas, and ornamental buildings (London, 1827), pl. 38

Baths of Caracalla, Rome: design for a proposed reconstruction of the Tepidarium

RIBA21649
Aitchison, George (1825-1910)
NOTES: This and another drawing of the Baths of Caracalla were made in connection with four lectures on Roman architecture given by Aitchison at the Royal Academy in January or February 1889.

Copies of Andrea Palladio's conjectural reconstruction drawings of the Baths of Nero, Rome: sections

RIBA29042
NOTES: Part of the Burlington Devonshire Collection, this drawing (copied by Isaac Ware from Palladio's conjectural reconstruction of the 1540s) was prepared for 'Fabbriche Antiche disegnate da Andrea Palladio Vicentino, e date in luce da Ricardo Conte di Burlington', (London, 1730), for Lord Burlington. The baths of Nero, built between 60 and 64 AD, were the second of the Imperial public baths in Rome. They were rebuilt in 227 by Alexander Severus and became known as the Thermae Alexandrinae.

Copy of Andrea Palladio's conjectural reconstruction drawings of the Baths of Agrippa, Rome, prepared for Lord Burlington: elevation and sections

RIBA29044
NOTES: Part of the Burlington Devonshire Collection, this drawing (copied from Palladio's conjectural reconstruction of the 1540s) was prepared for 'Fabbriche Antiche disegnate da Andrea Palladio Vicentino, e date in luce da Ricardo Conte di Burlington', (London, 1730), for Lord Burlington.

Copy of Andrea Palladio's conjectural reconstruction drawings of the Baths of Titus, Rome: sections

RIBA29049
NOTES: Part of the Burlington Devonshire Collection, this drawing (copied from Palladio's conjectural reconstruction of the 1540s) was prepared for 'Fabbriche Antiche disegnate da Andrea Palladio Vicentino, e date in luce da Ricardo Conte di Burlington', (London, 1730), for Lord Burlington. The Baths of Titus were built by Emperor Titus to celebrate the opening of the Colosseum in 80 AD.

Tynemouth Aquarium, Winter Garden and Baths, Northumberland: south-east perspective view with the beach and sea in the foreground

RIBA31339
Masey, Philip Edward (1823-1897)
NOTES: For the same view as published in The Builder please see RIBA10145.

Public baths, Northampton: the Turkish bath

RIBA73537
J. C. Prestwich & Sons
NOTES: These public baths were part of a group of civic buildings which also included a fire station, police station and sessions court.

Public baths seen from the Medway, Rochester, Kent

RIBA83076
Smirke, Sydney (1798-1877)

Grotesque or rural bath: plan and elevation

RIBA95474
Wrighte, William (fl. 1767)
SOURCE: William Wrighte. Grotesque architecture (London, 1790), pl. 20 NOTES: This plate was printed from the same copper as the first edition in 1767.

Unidentified hammam (baths), Istanbul

RIBA101030
NOTES: This image was probably taken between 1890-1910. The photographers Jean (Johannes) Sebah (son of Pascal Sebah who set up his studio from the 1860s) formed a partnership with Polycarpe Joaillier from 1890. Joaillier returned to Paris in the early 1900s, but Jean Sebah continued the work of the studio with others until 1943.
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