Location: Frauenkirchen - Austria
Architect: Studio Holzbauer und Partner
St. Martins Therme & Lodge
Hotel Spa & Wellness
The spa at St. Martins is a project that fits into its natural surroundings, Seewinkel Nature Park in Burgenland, Austria, making its structure opening onto its surroundings into an intense homage to the landscape around it.
In one of the area’s many hot spring swamps, characterised by sensational colours and a great variety of rare plants and animals, Holzbauer und Partner have built their project on a tongue of earth projecting out into the centre of a lake: designed as a spiral starting out from a core consisting of the swimming pool – the heart of all the activities taking place around it – it extends to embrace the landscape, which becomes part of the project itself. Used as both a spa and fitness centre, commonly associated nowadays in line with the trend towards simultaneous treatment of body and soul, the centre is well organised thanks to this big spiral or snail shape, which we immediately associate with the natural, archaic worlds of land and water, and turns out to be a form serving attentive distribution of the different spaces and activities organised at the centre.
Starting with the big pool completely surrounded by glass walls, with homogeneous porcelain stoneware flooring reproducing the ancient hues of stone, and also including the hotel's 150 rooms, the separate spa and sauna and the restaurant with its waiting area: the spiral layout ensures that all the spaces enjoy views of the landscape.
The path to wellness starts out at the hot spring pool: the idea of guiding the centre's guests in an experience strongly inspired by the virtues of the earth is metaphorically represented by a path paved in strong, expressive ceramic materials, all supplied by Ariostea of Italy. Continuity between outside and inside is ensured by the composition of the big round south-facing window, and by choice of a single pavement for use in both contexts, Pietra di Merano, combining resistance with precious stony hues. The sense of visual continuity thus created is reminiscent of a bed of sand, introducing a feeling of relaxation and spirituality. The path continues, marked by a slight change in hue to Basalto Grigio at the entrance to the restaurant, which is paved in Rovere Antico from Ariostea’s high-tech woods collection.
Here the contrast in materials, interpreted through juxtaposition of cold hues with the warm colours of nature, marks one of the latest milestones in ceramics technology, transforming a single material, porcelain stoneware, into two different materials, wood and stone, in the service of architecture. The preference for dark, introspective hues continues into the spa zone, where a Pietra di Merano mosaic alternates with Black Ardesia.
More delicate, lighter Pietra di Borgogna covers transit zones, where, along with the decorative motif of the mats, it emphasises the chiaroscuro of the Pietra Piasentina flooring. Earth shades accompany visitors to their rooms, where Pietra di Merano provides the backdrop for elegant furnishings and a hydromassage tub.
Above the building, where the hotel volume seems to detach itself from the spa, there are large terraces with an astronomic observation point: the path that starts in the water and continues onto solid earth seems to want to take us all the way up to the stars.
Design: Studio Holzbauer und Partner
Client: St Martins Therme & Lodge proprietor
Location: Frauenkirchen, Seewinkel Nature Park, Burgenland region (Austria)
Surface paved and covered with Ariostea materials: 26,000 m2
Black Ardesia PS, 60x30 tiles in Turkish baths and sensorial and rain shower area: Ariostea
Pietra di Merano PS, 60x30 floor and wall tiles in hotel room bathrooms and spa pool: Ariostea
Basalto Grigio PS, 60x30 floor tiles in the lobby, the spa restaurant, and the hotel restaurant: Ariostea
Rovere Antico flooring in the lounge, entrance hall, restaurant and fireplace room: Ariostea
Pietra di Borgogna 60x30 wall tiles in the Junior Suite: Ariostea
Location: Frauenkirchen - Austria