Spa Houses in Switzerland

IAD Switzerland

BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design students recently spent some time in Switzerland to gain a wider understanding of the interior design of spa houses. In conjunction with the second year module, the trip was designed to give students first-hand experience of the interiors of some of the most well-known spa locations in Europe.

A key element of the trip was a visit to the world-famous Hotel Vas thermal bath and spa. Designed by Peter Zumthor to form a cave or quarry type structure, students had the opportunity to inspect the spa that was designed in collaboration with nature.

Students examined the combinations of light and shade, open and enclosed spaces designed to make the spa a restorative experience. The layout carefully modelled to lead bathers to certain points but lets them explore other areas for themselves. Exploring the aquatic atmosphere, the visit gave the students plenty of examples for when they design their own spa as part of the module.

The trip also gave students the chance to visit the Vitra Design Museum, one of the world’s leading museums of design. Students had the opportunity to view the museum’s exhibitions covering relevant contemporary themes, such as future technologies, sustainability and social awareness. Students also spent time in the Vitrahaus, built by Herzog and de Meuron, a flagship store and home to the Vitra Home Collection.

Upon their return, students brought their experience into a life drawing and performance sessions. Working with an aerialist, students analysed the relationship between the fluidity of movement, muscle structure, interactivity and narrative. 

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