Fuente Santa SPA

Lava & Landscape

We understand the Spa not only as a building, but as a set of interventions of architecture, landscape, infrastructure and environment throughout a territory.

After studying the area of action, we decided to propose a joint intervention that encompasses the whole area, so that the new set of interventions, not just the Spa, becomes a fundamental tourist and environmental node for the region and for the whole island. However, the highlight of our intervention will undoubtedly be the Spa, located at a strategic point of the proposed environment, dominating the land above the springs of thermal waters facilitating the proper functioning and efficiency of the complex.

The Spa will be a unique building that makes intelligent use of all the natural resources that this place has to offer: the sun, the sea breeze, the particularly beautiful landscape and the fresh water springs. In our proposal we understand that these natural characteristics of this fortunate enclave must participate very actively in the design and operation of all the proposed buildings.

We propose a project where users can enjoy the water in facilities that will offer the visitor a wealth of different treatments, with flexible floors that can adapt very well to the needs of the city council or the municipality of today and for many years.

Functioning of the building:

After a thorough study of the orography of the land, we chose the points that will have the best views and that can best allow an excellent relationship between the landscape, the building and a simple construction.
We split the program into one Spa building, one restaurant building (cafeteria, restaurant and shops), a series of terraces open to the public with swimming pools and staggered gardens adapted to the terrain.

We built the Spa in the very west of the proposed area, as it is the point that dominates best the entire site and allows the building to operate without interference from other activities, helping to generate a relaxed and quiet area.
The Spa has two floors and three terraces that adapt very elegantly to the orography of the existing terrain.
The first terrace is at the entrance level (the road), and is completely open to the public, so that anyone can go there to enjoy the scenery and views.
The second terrace (it will be the floor -1) corresponds to the entrance level to the Spa. It is divided into two parts, a wet area, which can only be walked on with footwear suitable for the use of water-related facilities, where there are swimming pools, massage rooms, and an outdoor terrace with its cafeteria for drinking juices and continuing the relaxation treatment and a dry area including reception, administration and changing rooms.

If we continue descending we reach the third terrace of the Spa (floor -2), totally humid, with jacuzzis, sauna, swimming pools, and all kinds of water treatments.
The Spa complex works quite well as a space for users to enjoy the goodness of the spring waters, enjoying at all times the very active indoor-outdoor relationship thanks to the particular design of the building. The interiors are also totally integrated with the rest of the project, achieving without a doubt some very attractive and visual spaces.

If we continue descending we reach the third terrace of the Spa (floor -2), totally humid, with jacuzzis, sauna, swimming pools, and all kinds of water treatments.
The whole Spa works quite well as a space for users to enjoy the goodness of the spring waters, enjoying at all times indoor-outdoor relationship thanks to the particular design of the building. The interiors are also totally integrated with the rest of the project, achieving without a doubt some very attractive and visual spaces.
At the same level as the entrance to the Spa is the second building of the complex, the cafeteria-restaurant, shops and auditorium.
This restaurant services building complements the tourist offer of the Spa very well but does not interfere with it, being able to manage and operate independently and at the same time jointly. We think it is interesting to approach it in this separate way as this increases the flexibility of its management, coordinating the opening hours to the public in their interest.

We put the entrance to the complex right in the middle of both buildings (Spa and restoration building). Thus, the visitor will be able to arrive at the place and by means of a soft and pleasant descent, choose if he wants to go to the Spa, or have a beer looking at the sea, the gardens and the rest of the landscaped terraces of the complex, or go down to the public swimming pools and the beach.
The second building also stands out for its spacious terraces that will make it much more attractive to sit there for lunch, a drink or dinner, increasing the possibility of making the exploitation of this building profitable.

We want it to be a very easy place for the visitor to come, comfortable, fun, open and pleasant.
This is also why the roofs of all buildings are passable. They are always built in the same way as the rest of the concrete slab terraces, to facilitate the installation and not to complicate the execution. The whole intervention will be the same. Concrete slabs as trays open to the landscape, concrete retaining walls and glass enclosures at specific points. The whole complex will be understood as a coherent unit and not as separated buildings, so that tourists and locals can come whenever they want to a beautiful and special place, to enjoy a unique environment easily identifiable thanks to its architecture.

The design of the floors is quite open, so if the town hall or the competent authority in charge of managing the building at the time wanted the two buildings to actually be one, it is very easy to adapt our scheme, since we only have to put them together, as we have the entrances to the same level.
In the same way, these floors and proposed structures can include other types of uses without modifying the aspect of the complex, being able to incorporate hotel beds to spend the night or any other function that is required in case our building is the winner when writing the project, due to the enormous flexibility that allows this architectural strategy that we propose.

  • Status: Competition.
  • Project Year: 2015.
  • Location: Fuencaliente, La Palma, España.
  • Area: 1.065 m2
  • Design: OOIIO Architecture.
  • Team: Joaquín Millán Villamuelas, Jesús Reyes García, Sonia Martín, Ana Valverde.
  • Client: Island Council of La Palma.