Nestled in a natural landscape that is both intensely powerful yet particularly fragile, the new spa and public baths at Fuente Santa take the form of a bridge, thus avoiding the need to modify the area’s volcanic soil and coastal cliff. The design ensures minimal interference between the building and the surrounding protected area, made up of lava flows.
The spa complex creates a synthesis between architecture, infrastructure and landscape. Levitating atop the surrounding landforms, it has an abstract yet defined presence. The building constitutes a landmark revealing the location of the Fuente Santa hot spring. It is like a horizontal lighthouse and lookout point, with a material quality that makes it both stand out from and dissolve into the neighboring landscape. The spa’s roof blends into its surroundings like a textured image melting with the volcanic soil.
The public baths are designed as an unfolded pool, as a new, suspended shoreline. It is a playful and therapeutic space that, through its artificial pebble beach, recovers the experience of the original hot spring—which sprang forth on the seashore and was used by the general public—and encourages contemplation of the horizon. Under the roof, the common areas of the thermal water circuit incorporate the volcanic landscape into the everyday life of the spa, taking advantage of the therapeutic nature of the landscape itself.
Fuente Santa Hot Spring Baths
Fuencaliente. La Palma. Canary Islands. Spain
Juan Antonio González Pérez, Andrzej Gwizdala, Constanze Sixt, Urbano Yanes Tuña
La Palma Island Council
S.ARCH Conceptual Design Award, 2016: Shortlisted Architectural Review MIPIM Future Projects Award, Category: Retail and Leisure, 2016: Winner Taipei International Design Award, 2015: Bronze Award + Jury’s Special Award