Hinterbrühl, Austria Spa by Smartvoll Architects: 2020 Best of Year Winner for Kitchen/Bath
At the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, a famous garden pavilion on a hill is decorated with
Baroque statuary. Smartvoll designed its own gloriette, as such open-sided structures overlooking a residence are known, for a villa 19 miles southwest of the Austrian capital. But the firm went in a decidedly modernist direction for the outbuilding, which functions as a spa. The 3,500-square-foot structure is composed of staggered vertical slabs and overhanging roof sections that appear to be horizontal but have a slight slope to allow rainwater to run off. It incorporates a jacuzzi, sauna, shower, pool, and bar. To make the building feel like “one continuous wellness zone,” founding partner Philipp Buxbaum explains, a single material was used to clad the reinforced-concrete skeleton: Rauriser quartzite. Quarried nearby, the stone can withstand steam, chlorine, heat, and frost, and its lively quality provides ample visual interest. In warm weather, the structure is open to the elements. In winter, glass wall and ceiling panels slide close, and the spa is reached via an underground corridor.
Project team: Philipp Buxbaum; Olya Sendetska; Christian Kircher.