Treivas Architecture Buro

Spa Under The Pines


End of the day.

House in the woods — embraced by the trees.

Light fog.

Japanese poetry haiku can sometimes be a result of a game named haikai no renga. It literally means “a string of poetry”: the participants compose rhymes of a longer poem one by one. The house pursues this principle: simple shapes create a solid composition. Three lines of this poem are three entities of the building: impenetrable core, reed roof and translucent ground floor.

The house has a square layout and is divided in areas just like the pitch or athletic field. The circulation inside the house is looped — this configuration of floor plan supports the rituals of preparations for a game as well as the rest afterwards.

Translucent walls of the ground floor enhance the feeling of unity between interior and landscape. Floor level is almost the same as the ground — the house seems to be a conceptual extension of the pitch.

The house’s openness to its surroundings means the concentration of private areas of the spa complex in an impenetrable center of the building. It forms a core inside an open layout. Due to its austere shape, the volume channels the modernist aesthetics of the ground floor’s glass cube. Its wooden surface recalls brutalist architecture and minimalism.

A roof of four gables connects the solid core with its translucent cover. Except for the roof lantern in its flat part, the roof is covered by hay. Expressive material reduces the coldness of glass walls and gives the house a laid-back vibe, which is essential for a spa.

Parts of the house, dissimilar at first, but perfectly working together, form a poetic string of the visitor’s impressions before entering the building: dissolving in the woods and subtly lit structure is a retreat where one can be at peace with oneself and outer world.

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