This spa in a Canadian nature reserve is committed to bettering its surroundings

May 8, 2019 by  
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Montreal-based firm Blouin Tardif Architecture has just completed work on a serene spa addition for BALNEA Spa and Thermal Reserve . Located in an idyllic forest in the Bromont-sur-le-lac region just outside of Montreal, the spa was originally designed by a local father and daughter team to offer guests a fully immersive experience surrounded by breathtaking nature. The new addition, comprised of a sleek wooden pavilion and infinity pool, was created in line with the spa’s strong commitment to sustainability . The BALNEA Spa and Thermal Reserve is surrounded by an expansive natural reserve made up of majestic maple trees. Tucked back into the forestscape, the spa has a dock that leads out over a picturesque lake and offers guests endless activities such as kayaking, hiking and yoga. Since its inception, the spa has maintained a strong relationship with its surroundings, ensuring that the business does everything it can to protect and conserve its pristine natural setting . Related: A lakeside sauna boasts mystical views and a gleaming facade When it came time to expand with a new pavilion and infinity pool, the spa owners, Stéphanie and Denis Laframboise, tasked local firm Blouin Tardif Architecture with the job. Knowing that the architects shared a similar commitment to sustainability, the project was focused on minimizing the pavilion’s environmental footprint . Accordingly, the new structures were built off-site and assembled on-site by a local team. The new Pavillon Ouest spa is comprised of a cube-like sauna  clad in warm wood with dark glazed panels that offer stunning views from the interior. Meanwhile, on the exterior, a 30-foot swimming pool that fits up to 25 bathers at a time is a central component of the spa experience. Denis explained that the infinity pool was chosen to offer guests the option of completely immersing themselves into the breathtaking nature reserve. “We chose an infinity pool so that the surface of the water blends into the lake in the background and the mountains beyond, but also to hide activities going on elsewhere,” Denis said. “Bathers are sheltered from the rest of the site and embraced by the warm water, giving them a sense of total privacy.” + Blouin Tardif Architecture + BALNEA spa Photography by Mathieu Lachapelle via v2com

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This spa in a Canadian nature reserve is committed to bettering its surroundings

Timber wedding venue in China mirrors the mountainous landscape

July 30, 2018 by  
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When charged with adding a multi-functional building to a mountain resort in China, Shanghai-based firm  AIM Architecture used the stunning landscape as inspiration. Located slightly away from the resort’s existing buildings, MuWeCo stands out for its dramatic vaulted roofs that mimic the outline of the mountain range in the background. The Fushengyu Hot Springs Resort is tucked into the remote foothills of the Luo Fu Shan range in Sichuan, China. The resort has multiple buildings, including the main spa building  and various villas and small apartments that cater to guests looking to enjoy the picturesque setting. Related: Elegant Japanese wedding chapel mimics curved leaves The resort management wanted a new building on-site to provide extra space for practical uses such as a wedding hall , exhibition area or conference rooms. However, the building’s design was completely inspired by nature. According to the project description, the architects’ concept aimed to create an open space that put the focus on the majestic, mountainous landscape. To blend the building into this stunning backdrop, the architects created a series of striking sloped roofs that evoke the feeling of being under a tent. The dramatic design continues throughout the interior, where the curved ceiling panels dotted with tiny lights create a vibrant atmosphere. The walls of the building are clad almost entirely with glass panels, allowing optimal natural light to flood the interior while providing endless views of the surrounding scenery. The interior is spacious and open, with warm timber and cork paneling and flooring made out of local river stones, again creating a strong connection with nature. To really soak in the surroundings, guests are invited to enjoy the views from the large open-air deck, which provides 360-degree views of the mountain range in the background. According to the architects, they drew inspiration for MuWeCo’s design from the resort ‘s incredible setting and from the desire to ensure complete and total relaxation for guests: “People visit spas for rest and relaxation, and this design opportunity allowed us to re-imagine nature and landscape as public spaces, and our relationship to both. The architecture provides a contrast for the stunning scenery, and has proven to be a lasting and beautiful space for wellness.” + AIM Architecture Via Archdaily Images via AIM Architecture

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After a makeover, this local shack becomes the envy of the neighborhood

July 30, 2018 by  
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Nearly everyone has strolled through a darling neighborhood and suddenly come across an orphan house. Sitting silently, often in the shadows of the prettier houses, there’s a neglected home that once had dignity. A family of four discovered such a home in an Iowa City neighborhood, and with some TLC and help from Neumann Monson Architects , they transformed it into a star of the community. Seeking a tranquil neighborhood near the University of Iowa campus, the family found the unpolished jewel, built in the ’60s, on a quiet street lined with lovely modest homes. It was a smaller, 1,300-square-foot home, and years of high-turnover renters had left their mark, earning the abode the local moniker of “ The Shack .” Related: O2 Studio renovated an old Netherlands home into a gorgeous energy-neutral villa Determined to change that image, the family embarked on a mission of a cosmetic makeover that would also embrace the home’s carbon-neutral potential. After commissioning Neumann Monson Architects for the project, the family wanted to create a guest room and recreation room in the formerly unfinished 500-square-foot basement. Then, the team expanded the ground floor from 1,300 square feet to 2,500 square feet with a slab-on-grade modification. All these upgrades used standard post and beam construction coupled with steel wood framing and steel columns. To sustain the eco-friendly theme, the home’s walls and ceilings were lined with insulated sheathing and foamed-in-insulation, creating R-24 walls and an R-40 roof. Upgraded windows take full advantage of natural light without sacrificing the mid-century spirit. A new tongue-and-groove bleached cedar ventilated rain screen beautified the home’s exterior. Energy-saving renovations also included new super-efficient climate control systems, such as LED lighting , EnergyStar appliances and a closed-loop, horizontally-bored geothermal system with fresh air energy recovery. An 8.4kW photovoltaic array powers the LED lighting, mechanical systems and energy-efficient appliances. The family enjoys the credit they receive from the utility company for their home’s surplus energy, but they love the homey ambiance of the neighborhood even more. A nearby property is undergoing a similar overhaul, so their success appears to be contagious. + Neumann Monson Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Integrated Studio

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After a makeover, this local shack becomes the envy of the neighborhood

Computer modeling informed the whimsical design of this experimental home

July 30, 2018 by  
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At first glance, this house in Prague may look like a fanciful and whimsical work of art with little regard for practicality, but a deeper inspection reveals that careful computer modeling and budgeting actually informed its unusual design. Czech architect and co-founder Jan Šépka of the local practice Šépka Architekti designed this organic abode, called the House in the Orchard, as one of his latest experimental residences in the country. Raised on a stalk like a mushroom, the modernist three-story home was crafted in response to the steeply sloped site and comprises a living area of 861 square feet. Designed for one of Šépka’s old friends on the outskirts of Prague, the House in the Orchard is raised on a concrete pillar to mitigate the steep slope and to avoid the high construction cost of a traditional foundation. The three-story dwelling’s asymmetrical shape was conceived through  computer modeling and is split into triangular spaces for stability. To create the home’s concrete-like appearance, the architect layered a gray, waterproof skin atop polyurethane sprayed on top of plywood sheets; the final effect gives the structure its deceptively heavy look. A ramp on the upper part of the slope leads to the entrance and the first floor, which consists of the living area, kitchen and dining room with a wood-burning stove and a large window that frames views of the landscape to the north. Modernist furniture is mixed with custom plywood furnishings designed by Šépka. Related: Sprawling Villa H in Prague adapts to a steep plot with a creative 3-level layout A plywood staircase with open treads and a metal railing leads up to the second floor where the bedrooms and bathroom are located. The study can be found on the top floor. A large skylight in the study draws natural light deep into the home. + Šépka Architekti Via Wallpaper* Images by Tomáš Malý

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Computer modeling informed the whimsical design of this experimental home

Architects add zen-like timber spa and gym to coastal Nova Scotia residence

February 2, 2016 by  
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Floating River Sauna in Germany Takes Oasis to Another Level

September 18, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Floating River Sauna in Germany Takes Oasis to Another Level Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 4a Architekten , Architecture , Emser Sauna , Emser Thermal Spa , floating architecture , Floating Sauna , floating structure , German saunas , river Lahn , river structures , sauna architecture , spa design

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Tomorrow is Park(ing) Day 2014 – Send us Photos of Pop-Up Parks Near You!

September 18, 2014 by  
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Tomorrow is Park(ing) Day , and we’d love to see your photos of the most spectacular pop-up parks near you! If you’ve never heard of Park(ing) Day before, it’s a global event where parking spaces are re-purposed into mini park spaces for people to enjoy. It’s an opportunity for people to take the streets back from gas-guzzling vehicles for a day, and interact with one another in fun and creative ways. In past years, we’ve seen little libraries, mini golf courses , yoga spaces, and even faux forests, and we’re looking forward to seeing what tomorrow will bring. If you’re joining in on the Park(ing) Day festivities in your city, please send us your pics and we’ll publish them on Inhabitat! Tweet us your photos at @Inhabitat with the hashtag #ParkingDay, or email us at editor[at]inhabitat.com with “Parking Day” in the subject line. Don’t forget to tell us where you spotted your Park(ing) Day park so we can share your find with other readers! + Park(ing) Day Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags:

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