Turzo Spa

Turzo SPA


Landscape – Nature – Health – Relaxation – Architecture are attributes that characterize the spa environment. Our goal was to support these attributes, but not to disturb the character and atmosphere of the area under consideration. The design concept was to preserve the expression of the original architecture as much as possible and to sensitively approach the forest communities in which the Turzov spas are situated through landscape interventions.

Project name Design and development of the Turzo Spa
Typology Public, listed historical building, spa, health resort
Location Gelnica, Slovakia
Year 2023
Status Competition, 3rd place
Design team Ing.arch. Tomáš Dimun, Ing.Michaela Vatraľová, Ing.arch. Michaela Moravčíková, Ing. Miriam Heinrichová, Bc. Ilia Muzafarov, Andrea Danková

The addressed territory is divided into three main zones. The first zone is functional and operational, in which new designed object of the Nový Baník hotel and the main object with the primary functions of accommodation and catering are located. The main building has an annex for administrative and service functions. The second zone is cultural and serves the residents and the public. It consists of the Pionier building and its surrounding paved areas, which open from the south side to the square and from the north side to the beach with terraces. The third zone is for relaxation and recreation. Vila Thurzo Praha is located here, which, in addition to accommodation, also offers a cafe with seating near the water surface. Its calm parterre complements the pier and the pedestrian route around the lake. The idea was to offer different forms and intensities of use of the area and to ensure the smooth movement of those who are staying in the spa, but also those who came only for tourism or recreation near the lake.

The main object, set on the main compositional axis, serves as the central point of the spa. On the first floor there is a reception with a cafe, restaurant, kitchen, facilities. The entire second floor provides accommodation services with a capacity of 22 guests. Compared to the current state, we separated the associated extension and let the architecture of the main building resonate. We decided to respect it and preserve it in terms of material and shape in the original range. We used the ground floor of the extension for technical and technological facilities, accessible from the yard, which is separated from the rest of the premises by a gate. On the first floor, there is an administrative part and a conference room, which has a direct connection to the new designed terrace with an old  chimney. Access to the administrative and conference area on the first floor is barrier-free directly from the terrain that rises towards the Nový Baník Hotel. The terrain is partially reinforced with a retaining wall. At its terrain break, a foreland is created for relaxation.

The location of Hotel Nový Baník is adapted and moved with regard to the urban relations to the Main Building. Thanks to the rotation, the rooms on the north side get enough light and the allocated space is used for social and outdoor activities. The building is designed as a new one. Its function includes a lower class of accommodation. The capacity of the hotel is 153 guests. It includes a quiet parterre, which we designed to expand with a plot of land with a stream, the banks of which we will revitalize. A reservoir in the form of a wetland is also created in connection with the stream. The landscape solution around the Hotel Nový Baník together with the Main Building is a designed form of a relaxed natural composition of local meadow communities with an emphasis on flowering and variability.

We preserved and restored the Pionier object, national cultural monument in its original substance and expression. On the first floor, there is a cozy cafe with a museum and services, which adequately communicates with the exterior and areas around the Pionier, used for cultural events. At the same time, the cafe complements the needs of additional forms of eating. Wellness services are located on the second floor, which provides a greater sense of privacy even without significant changes in the filling of the window openings. The access to the wellness area is solved separately from the terrain via a bridge, the expression of which we tried to make similar to the period photographs. A new element is its color, which makes the orientation more transparent and accentuates the main function of the spa complex as well as the Pionier architecture itself. After dendrological research, we are considering thinning out the tall greenery in the area and thus supporting views of the terrace, which guests would be able to perceive even from the interior itself.

We are restoring Villa Thurzo-Praha according to the requirements in the original historical spirit. The building is mainly used for accommodation of a higher standard with a capacity of 81 guests. In addition to accommodation, there is a reception, a lobby bar and a cafe with a terrace on the ground floor. Thurzo’s house is visually connected to the lake in the form of an educational trail and a pier. The jetty initially follows the shore of the lake and then gradually runs out into the lake. With this rotation, we wanted to bring the opportunity to experience one of the typical views of the facade of the villa, at the same time, we did not want to significantly disrupt the integrity of the water surface with its volume and length.

The rest of the newly designed small buildings and landscaping complement the landscape architecture. The structural solution of small buildings remains a light column structure, in which, depending on the function, solid surfaces alternate with textile ones. The textile parts also serve as shading, designed in a historicizing manner. Their planting tries to support important views in the area under consideration. The lookout tower in the northern part of the complex is located at the intersection of hiking trails and ends the beach with terraces. The slope of the terrain is used here and the access is thus barrier-free again. The viewpoint offers and accentuates one of the most beautiful views of the lake and Villa Thurzo, and at the same time provides tourists with a place to spend the night. The living terraces are used for relaxation, as a place to lie by the water or sit at the summer cinema. There is a stream in the immediate vicinity, the bank of which is also revitalized and supplemented with cascades and wooden bridges for children’s games. We suggest modifying the playground located above the lookout for sports purposes and supplementing it with outdoor workout elements. The gazebo in the southeastern part of the taich offers covered outdoor seating at the intersections of hiking trails. There is also a fireplace and an entrance to the water directly next to it.

Landscaping respects and preserves forest communities and tall greenery.