Health resort Sliač

Health resort Sliač


The subject of the competition was the restoration and extension of the Sliač spa near Banská Bystrica. The spa consists of several buildings, located near forests on a vast area, and together with the park, they form buildings listed as protected historical monuments from the 19th and 20th centuries. An integral part of the proposal was the construction of a new central reception, which was located next to the central underground parking lot. From the central reception, spa guests are transferred to accommodation and procedures by a shuttle bus, in order to separate dynamic traffic from the area. The completion also consisted in the creation of new accommodation capacities in the proposed buildings and the extension of the pool hall with a new pool and accessories. In close contact between the area and the forest, a music pavilion has been created for visitors with the possibility of observing the night sky. A colonnade and an outdoor amphitheater are designed for the existing thermal springs.

Project name Restoration and development of the Health resort Sliač
Typology Public, listed historical building, spa, health resort
Location Sliač, Slovakia
Year 2022
Status Competition
Design team Ing.arch. Tomáš Dimun, Ing.Michaela Vatraľová, Ing.arch. Romana Maľová

Landscape – Nature – Curative springs – Health – Relaxation – Architecture

This basic essence of the spa as such is supplemented in the proposal with other functions and spatial characteristics, which in the given context and understanding of the spa have their irreplaceable role. The new required objects and their functions are guided in the existing compositional axes, which are respected and supplemented according to the needs of the design itself, where height placement and harmony with architectural and natural elements are taken into account. The main idea of the solution is to „segregate traffic“ from the campus and leave the communication network for undisturbed pedestrian movement and intra-campus transport in the style of a shuttle bus of smaller capacity, which will ensure the transfer of people, luggage, goods, waste and others at regular intervals. We placed the main entrance building to the area on the site of the original outdoor parking lot, where smaller parking areas for cars, a shuttle bus stop and the end stop of suburban bus traffic were also relocated. The building is cut into the existing slope, where visitors are „welcomed“ by the concave facade of the main reception with the possibility of short-term parking of the vehicle, obtaining an accommodation card, a ticket to the wellness center, or to the summer swimming pool, and then parking in the underground garage with a capacity of approx. 422 spaces.

After completing the basic formalities and parking the vehicle, the visitor can use the inner shuttle bus if necessary, or use the pedestrian access to his accommodation unit with luggage transfer to the door. It is understandable that individual buildings, whether the original or proposed Spa houses with a larger capacity for accommodation, or the Gallery and Museum buildings, will have their own smaller information desks or receptions, but for the purpose of excluding traffic from the area, we chose the Main Reception as the first contact point for every visitor to the Sliač spa. The proposal respects the original objects of the spa complex, which were supplemented in order to increase the capacity of accommodation, treatment procedures and other activities in a concept and scale corresponding to the already existing dominants, whether of architectural or natural character in nature. The new buildings of Sliač spa are designed in the original longitudinal axes, where their architecture creates tiny borders, be it new squares, flowery parterres, or inner blocks, imitating the original character of the construction. At the same time, they provide new overviews and connections of pedestrian routes and functions in the environment, visits to hidden corners, pavilions, reading room, educational trail, natural and architectural landscape and pedestrian connections, or “dry-foot” connections on bridges for spa guests spending time in the area as part of treatment procedures , even outside therapy. Due to the presence of people with limited mobility, the already mentioned inner shuttle bus provides the possibility of visiting individual attractive spaces, which would operate according to the given schedule, set as needed, or the route, directed by footpaths without stairs. A distinctive element in the area is the chimney near the laundry and boiler rooms, which in the design is transformed into a lookout, accessible by elevator and located on the so-called lively square, with a music program, restaurant and cafe. Part of the area and the proposal for its renewal and expansion are also nooks and vistas in the landscape and near the objects, which, by their location, create areas for individual exercise, or for group exercise, as part of medical therapy.

The proposal is divided into three construction stages, with a total capacity of 1,349 beds. The individual stages are considered as follows:

In the first stage, demolition work on the Tatra restaurant building, demolition work on the Coer building, Nový partisan, parts of the Laundry building, the original greenhouses and tin sheds, and the removal of the outdoor parking lot are to be performed. The main construction part of this stage is the construction of the Main Reception building, cut into the slope, with an extensive green roof and reinforced and parking areas in its forecourt, and the construction of an underground parking building, with a spiral two-lane ramp, where the creation of a central opening in the canopy is being considered, for the possibility of placement of green elements. The capacity of the parking lot is 422 spaces on two underground floors, with vertical cores opening into the reception building and its vicinity. Another part of the first stage is the transformation of the existing administrative building into a Congress hotel and, if necessary, accommodation for employees, where a larger part of the original building will be used, which will be supplemented by a roofed colonnade with a created atrium.

Another construction undertaking is the modification of the outdoor summer swimming pool with additional smaller pools, changing rooms and other attractions and the transformation of the roof of the reservoir into a relaxation zone – a reading room. An important construction part of the stage is the building of the Pool Hall building with a sauna world and an outdoor pool with a relaxation area, which will be connected to the existing Spa House and will serve for the needs of balneotherapy, but also as a commercially used building. The last part is the placement of a new central boiler room and laundry in the farm yard area, where parking areas for shuttle buses, garden and other equipment are also planned. As a matter of course are the reconstructions of the pedestrian routes in the given part and the original spa buildings Slovensko, Bratislava, Detva, Natália and KD 1 and their forecourts, which form the original spa center. The above-mentioned Spa Houses represent accommodation with a higher standard (capacity of 185 beds) with the best access to treatment procedures, which take place in Spa House 1 and the newly designed Wellness facility. A separate chapter of the works of the first stage is landscaping, which restores parts of the park, forecourts, tree rows and squares, water cascades, viewpoints and pavilions in the required forms.

The objective of the second stage is the building of the spa houses Palace and Poľana and their surrounding landscaping. For the Palace building, restoration of the building to its modernist period is being considered, including trellises, tree rows, restoration of the music pavilion and keeping the function of accommodation (300 beds) and cultural and social, restoration of the spa promenade and placing the management of the Sliač Spa on the upper floors of the Palace building. After reconstruction, the spa house Poľana will serve as an accommodation facility with a capacity of 40 beds.

The last planned construction stage of the area is the largest in terms of area and cost and includes the construction of three spa houses with the working titles A, B, C, the construction of the Balneotherapy Gallery and Museum, the construction of a greenhouse near the spa houses A and Natália, which is located in the space of the original pavilion at flower parterre, which will also be part of the renovation. It also includes the reconstruction of the building of the spa house Old Partisan, the reconstruction of the chapel and the architecture of the healing springs. The stage also envisages the creation of an educational trail in the forested part between the water cascades and the chapel, where a water area will be created next to the farmyard as part of a pedestrian walking zone, serving to accumulate water from the springs, which is currently significantly waterlogged.


The solution for greenery

The area is divided into compositional units from A to E, within which it is divided into 15 smaller parts,  according to historical research for better orientation. As part of the renovation, it is proposed to realize the following:

– In the oldest compositional unit „A“ in part 1, termed „Directorate“, revitalization of the existing landscaping without interventions in the composition, restoration of the flower beds in front of the buildings.

– In part 11 „Chapel“, landscape-architectural restoration of footpaths, bridges and architectural elements according to the situation from 1933, restoration of the forecourt of the chapel, restoration of the viewpoint according to period photographs, humanization of the former area of the bowling alley, reconstruction of the water system to drain wet areas, restoration of the water channel and water cascades according to the situation from 1933, the design of the water area in the waterlogged lower part of the park, near the farm building, its incorporation into the landscape character of the park, the proposed parking lot with a „green roof“ in the entrance area.

– In part 10 „Springs“, landscape-architectural modification of the surroundings of the springs, creation of a new element – an amphitheater, connection of the compositional unit of the springs with the chapel. – In the compositional unit „B“  part 2 „Detva“, restoration of the historic flower beds according to historical photographs, restoration of the historic rosary according to historical photographs, restoration of the gazebos in front of the houses „Bratislava“ and „Detva“ according to historical photographs, restoration of the parterre (2.2) in front of the spa yard, restoration of the fountain, music pavilion, connection of the spa yard with Terezia Vansová avenue, revitalization of the hot springs area (2.4) and cultivation interventions in the existing stands.

– In part 9 “To the Springs”, restoration of the fountain in the middle of Terézia Vansová avenue, according to historical photographs, planting interventions in the existing forest cover and a proposal for improvements in the immediate vicinity of the new buildings.

 – In the compositional unit „C“ part 7 „Swimming pool“, the restoration of the original swimming pool and its extension (7.1), the restoration of the gazebo (7.2), the design of landscaping around the new construction and planting interventions in the existing vegetation.

– In part 8 „Partizán“, landscape design in the vicinity of the new construction, cultivation interventions in the existing vegetation.

– In the compositional unit „D“ part 3. „Palace“, restoration of the original chestnut grid in the courtyard of the Palace Hotel (3.1) according to period photographs, restoration of the music pavilion (3.2) and original trellises, restoration of the original modernist flower parterre according to period photographs and modification the center of the boulevard with a herbaceous perennial composition (3.3).

– In part 4 „Poľana“, revitalization of the original landscape composition around the ponds, adjustment of small architectural elements of pergolas, flower beds (4.1).

– Part 6 „Under the courts“, restoration of the historic tree line around the tennis court (6.1), revitalization of the existing park arrangement and restoration of the gazebo (7.2).

– In the compositional unit „E“ part 5, Memorial to the Airmen“ the total renovation of the monument’s surroundings (5.3) and the viewpoints (5.1) of their surroundings and views of the area, restoration of the flower beds (5.2), planting interventions in the part of the vegetation of the landscaping in in accordance with the natural landscape composition of the park.

– In part 13 „Forest“, restoration of the original view of its surroundings and views of the landscape, planting interventions in the part of the vegetation of the landscape in accordance with the natural landscape composition of the park.

– In part 12  „Hoľa“, revitalization of the existing landscaping in accordance with the natural landscape composition of the park.