Peter Zumthor Therme Vals by Sigrid HauserTherme Vals, the spa complex built in the Swiss Alps by celebrated architect Peter Zumthor, became an icon of contemporary architecture soon after its opening in 1996. Inspired by the spa’s majestic surroundings, Zumthor built the structure on the sharp grade of an Alpine mountain slope with grass-topped roofs to mimic Swiss meadows, captured here in a series of sumptuous images. Peter Zumthor Therme Vals, the only book-length study of this singular building, features the architect’s own original sketches and plans for its design as well as Hélène Binet’s striking photographs of the structure. Architectural scholar Sigrid Hauser contributes an essay on such topics as “Artemis/Diana,” “Baptism,” “Mikvah,” and “Spring”—drawing out the connections between the elemental nature of the spa and mythology, bathing, and purity.
Annotations by Peter Zumthor on his design concept and the building process elucidate the structure’s symbiotic relationship to its natural surroundings, revealing, for example, why he insisted on using locally quarried stone. Therme Vals’s scenic design elements, and Zumthor’s contributions to this book, reflect the architect’s commitment to the essential and his disdain for needless architectural flourishes. This lavishly illustrated volume about the spa that catapulted a remote Swiss village onto the international architecture scene will entrance all enthusiasts of contemporary design.
Peter Zumthor - Therme in Vals
The Therme Vals / Peter Zumthor
Text description provided by the architects. Built over the only thermal springs in the Graubunden Canton in Switzerland, The Therme Vals is a hotel and spa in one which combines a complete sensory experience designed by Peter Zumthor. The idea was to create a form of cave or quarry like structure. Working with the natural surroundings the bath rooms lay below a grass roof structure half buried into the hillside. The Therme Vals is built from layer upon layer of locally quarried Valser Quarzite slabs.
Nov Praised as one of the best completed works by Pritzker Laureate Peter Zumthor, the Vals Thermal Baths might be one of the most iconic buildings in Swiss contemporary architecture. Already in , just two years after its opening, it became a national monument. The building definitely rewards its visitors with the rare pleasure of experiencing a genuine example of timeless architecture. Nestled in the remote Valsertal Valley, surrounded by the monumental Adula Mountains in the Central Alps, the small mountain village of Vals benefits from a truly picturesque location. The timber farmhouses of the village appear as they have for centuries and still to this day, their roofs are clad with stone slabs from a local quarry just one kilometer further up the valley. To profit from these hot springs, a modern spa hotel complex was built in the late s by Rudolf Berger, to replace the original 19th-century therapeutical baths.