Terme Zreče is one of Slovenia’s higher-profile providers of thermal spa, wellness, and health spa services. Unlike other such complexes, the facility is not sited in a broader natural environment but within an urbanised area.
The development is confined by blocks of flats on one side and public buildings on the other; as a result, the area available for its future development is strictly limited. The space constraints caused the complex to evolve in an increasingly introverted way and be formed around inner atriums. Of the hotel and congress atrium, and the entrance, service and restaurant atriums, the pool atrium is the only one which remains undefined.
The capacities of both the interior and the exterior pools have proven insufficient; as per the requirement for clearly separating the programmes of individual sections of the pool complex (the therapy, family, and wellness sections), the first step in planning the future development of Terme Zreče is establishing the missing swimming pool atrium by adding a new wellness pool on the southern edge of the pool platform.
In this way, the pool programme also becomes introverted, while the lack of exterior surfaces is compensated for by the expansion of the pool park in the direction of the forest edge on the western side of the area. The basic visual element of the pool atrium is the timber cross-beam facade. The load-bearing cruciform structure is used both in the structural refurbishment of Hotel Vital’s balconies and in the renovation of the facade of the existing interior pool.
The structure is also used in the design of the new wellness pool. A paraphrase of a distinctive element of the local rural built landscape, the facade now envelops the pool atrium from three sides while on the fourth side, it opens towards a stretch of green surface with a forest further afield. The intervening space of the atrium is filled with a new, larger water surface occupying the entire available open space between the buildings.
Down the middle, it is split with a passage, which separates the pool segment into the activity section and the relaxation section. At the same time, the central path acts as the main overflow edge and is the primary attraction of the new exterior pool. The exterior lounging space is moved from the atrium to the surface previously occupied by a swimming pool with chutes and slides.
A central relaxation surface established there terminates in a forest. The open green space thus becomes the exterior atrium pool users’ only contact with the surroundings. The slides are relocated to the furthest point of the north-western part of the area, thereby confining the noisiest programme item to the edge of the area.
The exterior poolside surfaces are expanded into the forest, enlarging the area gravitating to the exterior pool section while allowing additional relaxation programmes to be accommodated, giving the complex a leg up over the competition. The central load-bearing structure of the new pool section is made of glulam beams and complements the load-bearing cruciform structure of the facade section.
The central placement separates the interior into the swimming area and the lounging area while – together with the furnishings – optically dividing the open lounging surface into several more intimate sections. The roof of the building is designed as a contiguous roof landscape.
The shape and size of the elements used are evocative of other roof elements in the surrounding area, thereby tying together the visual refurbishment of the complex. In combination with the cross-beam load-bearing facade, complex Terme Zreče is endowed with a unique and distinctive expression, yet also one of ingenuous familiarity. Source by ENOTA.