5. Trenton Bath House

The Trenton Bath House in Ewing, New Jersey has quite the misnomer — it is neither in Trenton nor a bathhouse. Built in 1955, the Trenton Bath House was designed as part of a never executed larger plan for the Jewish Community Center of the Delaware Valley. The structure did, however, serve as the entrance and changing area for an outdoor pool. After completing the project, Louis Kahn often noted, “From this came a generative force which is recognizable in every building which I have done since.”

The bathhouse is a simple cruciform, with four square concrete block rooms surrounding an open atrium. Each of the rooms is topped by a wooden rectangular pyramid, each with an open rectangular column that supports the roof. Kahn first articulated his rather utilitarian notion of spaces serving and spaces served with this building, which was purchased from the Jewish Community Center for $8.1 million in 2006.