Last weekend I had the opportunity of visiting the delightful 1732 Therma Baths designed by world renowned architect Peter Zumthor in Switzerland’s Graubünden Canton.
The architecture really captures the essence of luxurious bathing by stripping back the ‘bells and whistles’ and focusing on the raw materiality of the building, the mineral spring water and the spectacular view of the surroundings.
The baths are celebrated for offering a sensory experience of hot and cold, light and shadow, and materiality. This is evident when examining the textural elements of the thermal baths. The walls are made from locally quarried quartzite stone, built up in layers to create multi-toned stripes. The windows are set within wide recesses to show off the unusual depth of the walls and evoke a cave-like feeling. The hot mineral pools seamlessly tie together the interiors and the breathtaking mountainous surroundings by acting as the median between the two spaces.
The thermal baths are definitely the kind of place that awakens the senses and is better experienced rather than seen in a picture book. Nothing is more inspiring than a well considered piece of architecture.