The Public Cooling House

Punctum’s Public Cooling House is part art house, part bath house. It takes some of the big questions surrounding our “water future” and turns them into a participatory experience of reflection. It provides a public gathering place to beat the heat in a public garden or park setting for our increasingly hot and dry times.

The Public Cooling House is a flat pack, low impact design combining a contemporary interpretation of desert architecture with natural materials and cooling practices to create a poetic system of public cooling. Drawing from simple, ancient evaporative cooling techniques such as the Australian Coolgardie Safe and Syrian wind catchers, its interior includes individual cooling pools and water works by exceptional artists responding to how we might contend with heat waves, water scarcity, and brown outs. The walls are of sustainably grown Australian Hoop Pine ply perforated with a replicated Coolgardie Safe wall pattern. The roof is made from fire proofed canvas woven in Australia and custom made. We use yachting and trucking strapping connecting elements to bring everything together. There are no nails.

In this intimate “house of cooling”, Cooling House Attendants draw from traditional cooling techniques, our relationship with the immensity of climate change, and an imagined “water future” to refresh our bodies and invigorate our sense memories.

A biologist might say it is a semi permeable system of “membranes” surrounding fluid living systems. For audiences in a climate change setting, it’s a cool place for a hot future.

Country/Region Australia

Designer Punctum Inc (AU)

Project Collaborators
Concept, Co-Design and Artistic Director: Jude Anderson
Co-Design, Drawings, and Construction Co-Ordinator: Morwenna Schenck
Design Assistant: Margot Lapalus
Project Administration: Adrian Corbett
Construction Assistant: Jimmy Naylor
Soundscape Artist – Jacques Soddell
Director’s Assistant And Lead Performer: Tanguy Trillet
Stage And Assistant Site Management:  Tegan Lang
Emerge Multi-Cultural Facilitator: Forest Keegel

Video Collaborators
Artistic Director: Jude Anderson
Filming and Editing: Ideas Agency, Miles Bennett