A focus on wellness

Wednesday, 21 October, 2015

The newly refurbished SoleVital health centre in Bad Laer, Germany, incorporates a new building housing a swimming pool area, an exercise and treatment pool with a height-adjustable floor, an 'experience' room with a steam bath, a wellness department complete with gymnastics hall and rooms for physiotherapy and other treatments. Adjoining the foyer, the building also features a restaurant and saltwater lounge.

After about 40 years of operation, the old spa resort required complete refurbishment and modernisation, particularly in terms of energy efficiency, fire protection and structural strength. It was deemed a more effective solution to construct a new health centre next to the existing building, averting temporary closure of the facilities.

Natural and artificial light are important design elements in the new building. The pool and treatment rooms are atmospherically charged with lighting changing colours, with coloured light being used to full effect against the white background of the rooms. A high degree of daylight illumination is achieved via the large floor-to-ceiling windows.

The health centre appeals equally to relaxation and rehabilitation seekers, as well as sports practitioners of all age groups. In addition to massage jets and neck showers, the experience room offers relaxation in the saltwater bath, a tub with highly concentrated salt water, a salt water shower fed from a spring and a hot stone surface on which to sit and rest. All of the pools are filled with salt water, which is a unique feature in Osnabrück's rural district.

Exterior view of the SoleVital.

The spa offers a varied and attractive range of fitness, wellness and rehabilitation courses in and out of the water and courses include aquarobics, aqua-pilates and back gymnastics. This diversified health and exercise offering is accentuated visually and acoustically.

Underwater spotlights, light domes under the hall roof and continuous strips of LEDs immerse the hall and the pools themselves in light of changing colours. In addition, the pools are acoustically enlivened by a liquid sound system with underwater loudspeakers emitting music while the pool user relaxes in heated water.

The light and dark effects and attractions are controlled by a bus system in the pool attendant's room. The control enables the operator to select individual elements separately and manually or play programmed course scenarios. The pool water undergoes ultrafiltration for treatment and inline chlorine electrolysis for disinfection.

The pool's functional areas have been organised for efficient operations to suit the various activities and have been so flexibly planned that they can be used for different treatments and courses. In addition, accessibility for users with restricted mobility is achieved with the neat, orientation-friendly arrangement of the functional areas and the spaciousness of the changing cubicles and sanitary and shower areas.

The design phase for the project commenced in September 2013, with full construction complete in December 2014.

Top image caption: The basin landscape of the new health centre is illuminated by colour-changing light.

Image credits: © Andreas Secci, Dortmund

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