The site of Forest Valley Hot Spring Center project designed by B.L.U.E. is located in the valley of Rehe, the North of Chengde City in China, providing a primitive forest environment.
In ancient times, there were enormous volcanic eruptions, leaving the site natural and superior hot spring resources. Most of the hot springs in the valley used to serve the locals, now, to provide a place for people in fast-paced urban life to slow down and relax, we want to create a unique hot spring experience by combining plants and hot springs. After walking through the entire valley and observing the surroundings, we chose the location of the inflection point in the center of a deep valley. Surrounded by mountains and facing tranquil water, the site is a natural place with serenity.
During our site reconnaissance, the atmosphere of nature changes frequently in the valley environment. Some places in the valley are bright, and some get dark immediately; The temperature varies constantly in different locations in the rolling valley; Sometimes we hear the crystal sound of running water and sometimes we hear the sound of birds singing. Our key design concept develops from the free and open spatial experience with natural elements in the forest. Thus, we intend to incorporate the unique experience into our design.
The design attempts to simulate and correspond to the form of the continuous mountain range through creating a form of spatial combination of soaring vertical solid towers and horizontal transparent glass boxes. Meanwhile, hot springs and plants, as the two major functional spaces, are interspersed with each other, presenting a diverse spatial variation like the form of the rolling valley.
Volcanic rocks and hot springs are both geologic formations after volcanic eruptions. In order to express the energy of nature, we select volcanic rock as the material for the external walls of the towers. The volcanic rocks are hung up layer by layer, like the layering of vegetation on the mountain. The horizontal glass-box space reveals a sense of transparency and blur, contrasting with the solid tower buildings. For the interior, we use three main materials: bamboo, timber, and stone. By combining the lighting and the depth of the towers in four different layouts, we create a special sense of ritual for bathing in hot spring.