Works Appreciate
Works Appreciate


IAI Best Architecture Award

Project Name:Forest Valley Hot Spring Center

Winner name:

B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio / Japan

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Background:The site of thisproject is located in the valley of Rehe, the North ofChengde City in China, providing primitive forest environment. In ancienttimes, there were enormous volcanic eruptions, leaving the site natural andsuperior hot spring resources.Most of the hot springs in the valley used to serve thelocals, Now, in order to provide a place for people in fast-

paced urban life toslow down and relax, we want to create a unique hot spring experience bycombining plants and hot springs. After walking through the entire valley andobserving the surroundings, we chose the location of inflection point in thecenter of deep valley. Surrounded by mountains and facing tranquil water, thesite is a natural place with serenity.Concept: During our site reconnaissance, the atmosphere of naturechanges frequently in the valley environment. Some places in the valley arebright, and some gets dark immediately; The temperature varies constantly indifferent locations in the rolling valley; Sometimes we hear the crystal soundof running water and sometimes we hear the sound of birds singing…… Our keydesign concept develops from the free and open spatial experience with naturalelements in the forest. Thus, we intend to incorporate the unique experienceinto our design. The design attempts to simulate and correspond to the form ofcontinuous mountain range through creating a form of spatial combination ofsoaring vertical solid towers and horizontal transparent glass boxes.Meanwhile, hot springs and plants, as the two major functional space, areinterspersed with each other, presenting a diverse spatial variation like theform of the rolling valley•SpatialFeatures: There are eight towers in total with different height and angles. Thefirst floor at the two of the towers provide hot spring pools, while at therest of the towers provide service spaces. The second floors at the eighttowers are 2 spas, 5 pools and a rest space. Outside the towers, we designlarge open plant landscape areas covered in glass boxes. The eight towers areconnected by walking trails on the first floor and by air corridors on thesecond floor. They are all closed loops with no end, leaving plenty ofpossibilities of circulation for guests, just like walking in the forest. Alongthe circulation paths, small-

scale functional spaces such as coffee shops, restareas, makeup space and retail are scattered around to enrich the walking experience.Inside the towers, guests can look outside at the thicklayer of snow or green leaves outside while soaking in the hot springs throughlarge windows. They can also see the planes flying across the sky or theglittering stars through skylights. It also will be a pleasant journey in thewoods if you step out of the tower and walk on the corridor like wander throughthe trees.•Materials and Details:Volcanic rocks and hotsprings are both geologic formations after volcanic eruptions. In order toexpress the energy of nature, we select volcanic rock as the material forexternal walls of the towers. The volcanic rocks are hung up layer by layer,like the layering of vegetation on the mountain. The horizontal glass-box spacereveals a sense of transparency and blur, contrasting with the solid towerbuildings. For the interior, we use three main materials: bamboo, timber andstone. By combining the lighting and the depth of the towers in four differentlayouts, we create a special sense of ritual for bathing in hot spring. 5Spirit of SpaceIn modern fast-

paced urban life, functional spaces likehot springs are becoming increasingly important. When people appear in thespace after taking off their clothes, the complexity from outside world, andtheir social identity, communication between human and nature and communicationbetween people are both becoming more honest and true. Forest Valley Hot SpringCenter is providing a place and an opportunity for modern city people toencounter and interact with nature.