Private Spa

  • Britsom Philips
  • Afromosia
  • Muschekalk
It’s got something kinky about it, a James Bond-like air, even like a club, this private spa. There it lies, under the water surface, a mysterious presence in the landscape. What happens in the spa, stays in the spa. At least, that’s the impression you get when you look at this big, armoured volume from the outside. The dark room houses an indoor pool conceived as an extension of the indoor bathroom. A hedonistic folly hoisted into a tight, contemporary corset.

Architects Britsom & Philips chose Muschelkalk, a German natural stone that is mined at a depth of 20 metres, for the role of basso continuo in this project, incorporating it into the floors, terraces, and swimming-pool basin. By using perpendicular instead of lengthwise cuts to divide the large blocks into smaller ones, an irregular pattern was obtained. The slabs were first sandblasted to make their pores deeper and then brushed to make their surface softer to the touch. The result is very earthy and cinematic, especially in combination with the black afrormosia carpentry and the suggestive mirrors.

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It's dark colours, the consistent use of natural stone, and its sunken location lend this private wellness space a particularly luxurious air. And an atypical one, too, especially compared with traditional pool houses and their fashionable mix of transparent glass, blue and white, and horrible acoustics. Voyeuristic nightclub or intimate private spa: the distinction is finer than you would dare dream.

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