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Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals

Built over the only thermal springs in the Graubunden Canton in Switzerland, The Therme Vals is a hotel and spa in one which combines a complete sensory experience designed by Peter Zumthor in 1996. The idea was to create a form of cave or quarry like structure. Working with the natural surroundings the bath rooms lay below a grass roof structure half buried into the hillside. The Therme Vals is built from layer upon layer of locally quarried Valser Quarzite slabs. This stone became the driving inspiration for the design.

This space was designed for visitors to luxuriate and rediscover the ancient benefits of bathing. The combinations of light and shade, open and enclosed spaces and linear elements make for a highly sensuous and restorative experience. The underlying informal layout of the internal space is a carefully modelled path of circulation which leads bathers to certain predetermined points but lets them explore other areas for themselves. The perspective is always controlled. It either ensures or denies a view.

The fascination for the mystic qualities of a world of stone within the mountain, for darkness and light, for light reflections on the water or in the steam saturated air, pleasure in the unique acoustics of the bubbling water in a world of stone, a feeling of warm stones and naked skin, the ritual of bathing – these notions guided the architect. 

Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals
Peter Zumthor - The Therme Vals