The Tamina Thermal Baths is part of the the Grand Resort in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland. It consists of a remarkable building that houses a bathing hall, large sauna area, shops and a restaurant. The open-air baths are surrounded by the natural landscape which envelopes the magnificent Swiss design and architecture. Speaking of outdoor landscape – it’s magnificent! I just can’t get over the jaw-dropping presence, colossal windows, towering heights and all that heavenly white! The project was conceived by Smolenicky & Partner architecture in Zurich.
From Joseph Smolenicky –
“The Tamina thermal baths is explicitly conceived as a part of the grand-hotel culture. The cultural and aesthetic identity of the project seeks an affinity to both Swiss tradition and the grand hotels of the Baltic coast, such as Heiligendamm.
For this reason the building volume has a monumental character, in order to stand out as an institution equal to the other buildings in the resort. Simultaneously the thermal baths are intended to relativize the almost “urban” stonework character of the spa spring hall. This explains the snow-white woodwork of the thermal baths, lending it the pavilion-like character of the architecture of a historical holiday resort.
This strategy of using an explicit resort architecture is underscored in the building’s formally fanciful oval windows. Seen from the inside, the windows have the effect of over-dimensional picture frames. Oval picture frames were widespread in the Victorian era for landscape scenes, whereby the intention in the current project is to give specific expression to the view over the relatively neutral landscape by means of the gesture of the frame.”
“Metaphorically the creation of the interior spaces of the project has an analogy in cutting clearings in the pattern of a forest by felling individual trees. This is the reverse of the common design process. The exterior spaces are similarly created by “felling” supports on the periphery of the building volume. Structurally the building can be more or less seen as a forest, created out of columns instead of trees – a total of 115 supports using the timber of 2,200 fir-trees (this amount of wood is regenerated in Switzerland in two-and-a-half hours).”