Contract world New Generation Award 2010, shortlisted
Golden Pencil 2009
World Architecture Festival Award 2009, shortlisted
Type: commission
Year: 2007
Status: completed 2009
Size: 9.990 m2
Budget: 13.000.000 EUR
Client: Terme Olimia
Location: Podčetrtek, Slovenia
Project team: Dean Lah, Milan Tomac, Maruša Zupančič, Nuša Završnik, Zana Starovič, Anna Kravcova, Polona Ruparčič, Marko Volf, Sabina Sakelšek, Esta Matkovič, Darja Zubac, Dean Jukić, Tjaša Marinšek, Nebojša Vertovšek
Landscape architecture: Bruto
Structural engineering: Elea iC
Mechanical services: Nom biro
Electrical planning: Forte inženiring
Pool technology: Darrtech
Photo: Miran Kambič

The Wellness Orhidelia is third in a row of projects that Enota designed in Terme Olimia spa resort in last couple of years, whereas the development of thermal complex required more and more new programs and areas. It should also be noted that whenever a need for a new facility arose it was thought to be the last one since the available space in the spa resort is indeed very limited. All previous buildings have been designed in a way that they interfere as little as possible with the existing scenery and try to connect with the beautiful nature that surrounds them.

The area was almost entirely built up when a need emerged for a new, large wellness center. The only remaining free space was the lawn surrounded by access roads and pathways in the heart of Terme Olimia resort. Since the program requirements of a wellness center are very extensive and certain areas must overcome great spans and heights of the inner spaces, erecting a classically conceived building on the central green section would have occupied the last remaining open area in the thermal complex and largely degraded the spatial quality. Therefore the main goal while designing the Wellness Orhidelia was to diminish its presence on the surroundings as much as possible.
The new wellness center is consecutively designed, more like a landscape arrangement than a building. Folded elevations appear like supporting walls dividing different levels of landscape surfaces. As the wellness center is not designed as a classical object, also spatial planning is not confined only to the area within the roads, which was originally intended for construction, but it spans over the entire available space. A central walking path now stretches over the roof and gives visitors a completely new, different sense of the site. On both ends, where the strolling path connects with passing inner roads, it forms two smaller public squares to control the speed of vehicles and ultimately gives priority to pedestrians over the vehicle traffic.

Rather than searching for its own expression and claiming yet more space, the new object integrates the existing single buildings and other spatial elements in a whole.

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