Cranbrook wellness spa
Student project. Design of a wellness spa for the Cranbrook educational community The design incorporates design strategies of three important architects, while making the most of the advantages and deficiencies of its site. The mass building, composed of brick and glass, is concentrated on one side of the lawn, covering up the former unsightly back façade of another building. As the building continues across the lawn, it descends into the ground, leaving the path above to the natatorium clear. The building reemerges out of a hill in a grove of trees, giving the outdoor hot tub a view up into the sky and treetops.
Firstly, the building adapts elements of Carme Pinós and Enric Miralles. As in much of the duo's work, such as the Igualada Cemetery, the building is built into the ground, rather than on top of it. In addition, in Pinós and Miralles' work, it is difficult to discern the edge of the project. Built elements continue out into the landscape, which in several of their projects include wandering iron fences that serve the purpose of blurring the project past its site. In the Cranbrook spa, the fractal-like walls extend out into the landscape, fragmenting into smaller and smaller pieces, making it hard to discern where the building ends and landscape begins.
The design also incorporates design strategies employed by Adolf Loos. In works like Villa Müller, Loos employed many small changes in elevation to convey granular changes from public to private space. Similarly, the Cranbrook spa's central corridor is a long, winding ramp, which is itself one large gradient from public spaces to private ones.
Lastly, the influence of Sigurd Lewerentz can be seen in the spa's materiality. In Lewerentz's work there is a strong contrast between the crude and the refined. In the spa, some walls are composed with a very neat, refined brickwork, while others are built in a very crude fashion, with bricks of various sizes, and mortar that spills out and down the walls. Spaces which are meant to stimulate have the crude walls, while those which are meant to calm have refined ones.