An oasis of relaxation in Rauris quartzite

In Austria, a private resort entirely dedicated to wellness, complete with whirlpools, steam baths, sauna, shower, swimming pool, solarium, and bar. Design by Smartvoll Architekten.
Located in the village of Hinterbrühl, at the back of the grounds of an antique villa, Spa Pavilion, is a decidedly sculptural spa made entirely of Rauris quartzite, natural stone resistant to steam, chlorine, the heat of the sauna, and winter frost.
The vertical and horizontal slabs naturally interact with each other, creating spaces and alcoves useful for the spa’s functions, opening or closing as needed. The slabs used for the walls and roofs seems to be anything but structural elements fully avoiding any suggestion of a supporting role imparting the sensation that the roof is floating.
The stone slabs fit into the rectangular and three-dimensional grid so that the pavilion opens on all four sides, but the alignment of the panels creates absolute privacy.

In summer, the structure remains open; in winter, the glass panels hidden in the wall and ceiling slide out and over the pavilion.
The interior communicates naturally and holistically with the surrounding greenery for a contemplative and all-encompassing spatial experience. “The consistent use of a single material gives the outdoor areas an interior feel, and vice versa,” emphasizes Smartvoll’s Olya Sendetska.
The positioning of the monolithic slabs of the pavilion structure the space in a distinct way, creating a variety of perspectives, directions, characteristics, spatial experiences, and interactions with the outdoors.
The result is a multidimensional environment, where the boundaries between the outside and the inside merge.
Spa Pavilion won the Interior Design Best of Year Awards and is a finalist for the Architizer Awards.

By Sabrina Sciama

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