place: National Park ‘de Biesbosch’
size: 5.000 m2
status: building permit phase
client: Thermen de Biesbosch BV
team: Remko Remijnse, Rocco Reukema, Isabel Rivas, Chris Vught
Thermen de Biesbosch is a multifunctional spa and wellness centre located in the heart of the National Landscape ‘de Biesbosch’ close to the city of Dordrecht.
Our main design goal was to integrate the building into the natural landscape and giving visitors an authentic bathing experience. The building’s ground floor is imbedded into a green dyke. The dyke not only surrounds the ground floor, but also functions as a natural wall around the outdoor space.
Floating above the dyke are the metal roof and the metal facade of the first floor. The metal facade reflects its green surroundings and the metal roof reflects the sky, making the building blend into the context.
For the interior we studied the relationship between the different bathing rituals, their spatial requirements, their use of natural light, their spiritual origin and materialization. To give the visitor an authentic and unique bathing experience the design needed to move away from all the Disneyfication that has become the main theme in common modern wellness centers.
The interior focuses on the essence of the bathing rituals, from the Hamam to the Finnish sauna, instead of the quick and short term entertainment show. This way each ritual becomes a place of its own, connected to each other by subtle architecture giving the visitor a long-lasting experience and making the wellness centre a place to remember and come back to.