A bath for Cleopatra: As Identity Architects we examined the characteristics that Cleopatra represents: Glamour, beauty, but also a tendency toward the dramatic and making grand gestures. She invited Caesar on a romantic cruise up the River Nile on the magnificent Thalamegos, an over 100 metre-long, floating palace barge. We asked ourselves how this woman, who considered herself the reincarnation of Isis, the goddess of love, really lived. She undoubtedly must have lead a life of pomp and luxury, surrounded by an endless obeisance of servants. Yet she certainly must have yearned for moments of peace and tranquillity. And maybe she found these in one of her most private places – her bath.
Cleopatra and her bath: another legendary relationship. Her celebrated beauty was purportedly thanks to her bathing in asses’ milk. Did she do this on occasion to pamper her skin? Or was it an attempt to add opacity to the transparent water in order to give herself some privacy upon submerging her body beneath the water? Our bath is designed to grant Cleopatra a place in which to relax. The bath embraces the bather like a seashell, concealing her from the interested glances of her court and imbuing her with a feeling of security. It is the perfect place to unwind after the exhausting daily business of ruling and scheming. However a pharaoh still commands respect even during that vulnerable moment of nakedness. Her bath doubles as a throne, which radiates into the room as a commanding and glamorous symbol of power. It is not a place you can approach without an invitation. And speaking of invitations: Our bath is also large enough to allow a general of her preference to join her in the water.