Wellness centre, Kranjska Gora
KRANJSKA GORA (SI) - Enota's respect for local building characteristics has not prevented it from delivering a distinctly contemporary-looking wellness centre.
Kranjska Gora is a ski resort in north-western Slovenia, located on a plain surrounded by an imposing mountain landscape. But the development of the town's hospitality and accommodation facilities has little connection with either the picturesque landscape or traditional regional architecture. Kranjska Gora's recent development has been marred by events like the destruction of Hotel Prisank, which was considered one of the best examples of Slovenian critical regionalism. Its replacement, like the majority of the town's accommodations, is far from serving as a powerful marker of (local) identity. Luckily, however, Kranjska Gora still boasts some smaller examples of well-preserved alpine architectural heritage, and it is precisely these buildings that served as a source of inspiration for Enota's Terme Olimia project there.
Enota architects have extensive experience in designing hotel and wellness centres, all of which comes together in the new building, which is designed to serve as an independent spa complex offering tourists indoor services and activities year round. The new spa is located in the town centre and stands next to a municipal hall and a primary school that are surrounded by smaller residential buildings. While the building's size references the town's larger public buildings, its timber facade, wooden balcony and steeply pitched gable roof are derived from local and regional building characteristics. Although the architectural intervention may seem unadventurous in its materiality and shape, it is still quite spectacular in its contemporary appearance.
The large roof made up of wooden elements is also the main facade of the new building, so that the structure blends well with its surroundings. Because of the extent of the programme, the architects have hidden a large part of the building below the ground, creating a closed and secluded underworld. Natural illumination of these spaces is provided by incisions in the ground plane. Two wider incisions house the access points for pedestrians and cars.
The programme comprises a swimming pool area, and a wellness section with saunas and massage rooms. The building is organized over a number of levels, which are divided into various smaller areas that make for a diverse interior. The underground recreational park flows into the upper elongated building mass containing the massage, sauna and beauty section. The wooden cladding hides yet another secluded feature, this time on top of the building – a vast open terrace where visitors can relax and sunbathe in any season of the year while also enjoying stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
December | 2011 | Slovenia | Maja Vardjan