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This Modern-Day Classical Bathhouse Worships Aphrodite

In a time when rich folk are busy adding Star Trek rooms and Greco-Roman nightclubs to their mansions, a recently-completed Classical bathhouse in in Gloucestershire, England is something of a breath of fresh air—despite being just as unnecessary. Designed by Craig Hamilton Architects, the Williamstrip Bath House was built after the firm completed a thorough renovation of the 17th-century Williamstrip Park estate, which had been remodeled by British Neoclassical architect Sir John Soane in the 1790s. As Architect Magazine points out, the freestanding bathhouse masterfully reinterprets antique design elements for the present day. The columns at the front entrance, for example, were adapted from those at the Temple of Apollo Epicurius in Bassae, Greece—only this temple bathhouse is all about Aphrodite.

Starting from the entrance, there's a tripartite frieze by sculptor Alexander Stoddart that portrays the goddess with her attendants, and inside, there are door handles shaped like dolphins. In contrast with the restrained stony exterior, the interior is strikingly vibrant, with plenty of yellow and red walls and graphic flooring. The building also features a semicircular spa pool in the apse at the end of the main pool hall, various changing rooms, as well as a sunken courtyard that leads to an underground gym.

· Williamstrip Bath House [Architect Magazine]