Phillip Denny

Arquideas Grant 2013

First prize winning entry to the 2013 Arquideas Grant Competition, juried by Enric Miralles Benedetta Tagliabue Architects of Barcelona.

"The proposed thalassotherapy center is conceived of as an immersive landscape: it is a place within which the user submits the body to spa treatments and transformation. In order to treat the body and mind, the user must first be removed from the usual. After arriving at the center, the user enters the pavilion at the high end of the site. Here the patron is oriented and directed down through the atrium to the changing rooms, where they shed their day to day clothing. Proceeding from the changing rooms the bathers move along a corridor, passing through a series of water gardens which frame and orient the user to the sea beyond. As the bather moves along the path the space begins to open. Suddenly the bather finds himself on the slope among, above, and below the many basins. Each basin is filled with a differently composed water. Set within the basin are planters for flowering shrubs and trees, whose branches provide shade and whose rustling leaves provide a soothing soundscape.After bathing the user may choose to have a massage in the hammam, or relax in the steam sauna, beneath a skylight that refracts the seawater above. In the evening, the user returns to the pavilion by the way he arrived. Moving back up through the atrium, he or she reenters the everyday, replenished and rejuvenated."