Since last spring, BALNEA has been offering guests a new way to enhance their spa experience. Designed and built by the acclaimed architectural firm of Blouin Tardif Architecture Environnement, the Pavillon Ouest - West Pavilion - includes a large terrace, hot tub and Turkish bath. The new pavilion adds capacity to the spa, while pursuing the exceptional facility’s mission: reinventing the art of relaxation through a fully immersive experience in the heart of nature.
Architect: Blouin Tardif Architecture Environnement
Client: BALNEA spa + réserve thermale
Location: Bromont, Canada
Terrace area: 1,500 square feet
Hot tub area: 30 square feet
Photography: Mathieu Lachapelle
Project's description: Located in Bromont and overlooking a breathtakingly beautiful natural reserve, BALNEA has always showcased gorgeous avant-garde architecture together with its splendid site. Until recently, the spa’s views were mainly over Lac Gale, while the new pavilion is designed to enhance contact with nature and the surrounding forest.
“The siting of these facilities on the west side of the spa highlights an area that had been under-used. Previously, our restaurant and its outdoor terrace occupied the space. In 2014, we moved the restaurant and terrace to the east, near the reception area. Our long-term plan has been to offer our guests more access to this sunny part of the property, with that soothing yellow light that lingers at the end of late-winter days, and delivers softer warmth on long summer afternoons,” says Denis Laframboise, the spa’s president and co-owner.
A sunbathed Turkish bath
Nestled in a forest of majestic maples and other species, with a burbling stream providing the soundtrack, the new facility is a natural fit for the progression of the thermal experience.
Inside, the hammam’s eucalyptus vapours ease the deepest tensions. Soft natural light helps create a cozy, serene ambiance. Unlike most steam baths of this type, the space includes a large south-facing window, screened from prying eyes by smoked-glass panels. Guests enjoy as much light as possible, without sacrificing privacy.
The large terrace and hot tub
With a superb view of Lac Gale and the Appalachians, the enormous 1500 sq. ft. terrace features clean lines, along with textures and materials (including ipe wood) inspired by the most appealing trends. Its position lets guests enjoy the sun comfortably from afternoon to sunset. The terrace is naturally integrated into the environment, and leads bathers to the spectacular whirlpool bath.
The bath is designed for up to 25 bathers at a time – making it the spa’s largest. “We chose an infinity pool so that the surface of the water blends into the lake in the background and the mountains beyond, but also to hide activities going on elsewhere. Bathers are sheltered from the rest of the site and embraced by the warm water, giving them a sense of total privacy,” Laframboise says. In summer, the 30-foot bath is used as a relaxation pool, offering an exceptional thermal experience.
An approach that respects the environment
Because they are always working to minimize the reserve’s environmental footprint, the owners have opted for a sustainable approach to everything from materials to the mechanical equipment behind the new wellness space. “To minimize our impact on the local flora and fauna, the new structures were built off-site, with only final assembly done on-site,” Laframboise explains.
Nearly a year after completing the new facility, BALNEA can be proud of its higher visitor numbers, especially in winter, while still providing an immersive retreat, perfect for rest and relaxation. “Thanks to the Pavillon Ouest, we are keeping our promise of offering more open spaces to our guests, to give them a fully immersive experience,” he concludes proudly.
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