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Friday, November 16, 2018

Man-made mountains!

By Archit Raj Thapar
Photography: Miran Kambič; courtesy the architects
Read Time: 2 mins
"Termalija family wellness ENOTA indiaartndesign"
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ENOTA transforms a classic health centre built in the 1980s in a small settlement of Eastern Slovenia into a modern relaxing thermal spa, popularly known as Termalija Family Wellness…

What started as a refurbishing exercise for an old health centre nestled amid mountainous terrain that was trying hard and failing to adapt to its natural surrounds despite repeated additions and alterations in the built form, has led to the architects at ENOTA designing multiple units to the building as time progressed.  And in this, the architects have made a conscious decision to build each additional unit in an organic fashion, which is not only in harmony with nature, but also the context it is set in.

"exterior Termalija family wellness ENOTA indiaartndesign"
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Taking the route of response-based design, every time a new building was added, the architects made sure to not only design for the building but also improve the urbanism around it. This approach was laid upon the core intention of ensuring that the buildings do not just fulfil functional requirement but connect with the nature that surrounds them.

"mountaineous forms Termalija family wellness ENOTA indiaartndesign"
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"scenic approach Termalija family wellness ENOTA indiaartndesign"
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Mountains are often called nature's water towers which is exactly what the designers have tried to re-create with an adventurous tetrahedron roof encompassing the former outdoor pool. When inside, it gives the user an experience like that of a hot spring/ waterfall with natural light streaming in through the skylights punctured in the roof.

"model Termalija family wellness ENOTA indiaartndesign"
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The large roof is faceted into smaller segments to prevent its scale from overwhelming the surroundings. Viewed from a distance, on the exterior, the shape, colour, and scale of new clustered structure of tetrahedral volumes mimics the cluster of the surrounding rural buildings, and visually extends into the heart of the complex.

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"coffered ceiling Termalija family wellness ENOTA indiaartndesign"
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"water spouts Termalija family wellness ENOTA indiaartndesign"
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"recliners Termalija family wellness ENOTA indiaartndesign"
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"pool by night Termalija family wellness ENOTA indiaartndesign"
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"baby beach Termalija family wellness ENOTA indiaartndesign"
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"interiors Termalija family wellness ENOTA indiaartndesign"
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Underneath, the angular coffered ceiling creates a cavernous ambience in the contemporary interior and reinstates the nature connect as its form is reflected in the waters below. Design elements in the interiors are also discerningly angular in nature. Enveloped in a glass-walled façade, one never really loses out on the indoor-outdoor connect.

"by night Termalija family wellness ENOTA indiaartndesign"
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Overall, the design attempts to reinterpret nuances of the majestic mountains into a public-use built-form.

Fact File:
Project: Termalija Family Wellness
Client: Terme Olimia
Architecture: ENOTA
Project team: Dean Lah, Milan Tomac, Peter Sovinc, Nuša Završnik Šilec, Polona Ruparčič, Peter Karba, Carlos Cuenca Solana, Jurij Ličen, Tjaž Bauer, Sara Mežik, Eva Tomac, Jakob Kajzer, Maja Majerič, Goran Djokić
Footprint 3.930 sq. m.
Site 10.200 sq. m.
Location Podčetrtek, Slovenia


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