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Wellness center in the Alps. Student project The Bridge honored

27 of April '21

Jakub Wichtowski and Jan Zielinski from the University of Arts in Poznan created The Bridge, a wellness center on Lake St. Moritz in Switzerland. Their work was the only project from Poland submitted to the Alps Wellnes Retreat international competition. The students' idea, inspired by the symbol and construction of the bridge, received an honorable mention!

The Alps Wellness Ret reat competition was organized by the international Switch Competition platform. The task the participants had to face was to design a wellness center located in a picturesque setting in the Alps. Its architecture was to have a therapeutic effect, promoting the physical and mental regeneration of its users.

The Bridge, termy

The resort's grounds also include thermal baths

© Jakub Wichtowski, Jan Zieliński

Architecture is constantly evolving to meet the needs of society, and part of its social role is to promote the well-being of users [...]. The designed space should promote a positive change in the perception and mood of the person using it. The wellness center is to enhance the olfactory, tactile and visual experience of visitors," reads the competition description.

honorable mention for UAP students

The Bridge was the only project submitted from Poland. The work of Jakub Wichtowski and Jan Zielinski, architecture students at the Magdalena Abakanowicz University of Arts in Poznan, was recognized and received an honorable mention.

We like such holiday competitions, in which the task set is the need to create a place actually from our dreams, where we ourselves would like to go and experience it. While working on the project, we set ourselves one goal - to have fun with this architecture! This is our first, competition of an international nature, but not the last. Next time we promise a place on the podium! Because the insufficiency that remains inspires us and drives us to have even more fun and work even harder," say the authors.

The Bridge, aksonometria The Bridge, rzut poziomu 0

For the work, the young architects created a new definition of a bridge

© Jakub Wichtowski, Jan Zieliński

The UAP students began the design process with the question: what element of the Swiss landscape do they think is the most distinctive? They concluded that it is the beauty of nature and the magnificent concrete structures, e.g. by Zumthor, Olgati. Following this lead, they arrived at .... Swiss bridges.

a new definition of a bridge

For the purpose of working on the project, we created our definition of a bridge. It is a man-made structure, set in a natural environment that allows passage between two distant ends. What we translated in the project into the image of a symbol of a connector, of separated worlds - the world of consumption and haste with the world of nature and tranquility. Our building becomes a path between human life and the tranquility of nature. A structure that is a symbol of harmony and hope," explain the young architects.

The Bridge położone
nad jeziorem

The lightness of the building is given by rhythmic divisions of the facade and horizontality of the form

© Jakub Wichtowski, Jan Zieliński

Then the idea, they tried to translate into the language of architecture - this is how The Bridge was created. The most important element of the project is the view and context of the place. While building the form and designing the functional layout, the authors wanted the users of the building to always be accompanied by a magnificent panorama of Lake St. Moritz and the surrounding Alps. The lightness of the building is given by the rhythmic divisions of the facade and the horizontality of the form. The view and variability of nature (such as the sun's diurnal cycle) was treated as the material of which the building's interiors were composed. The architecture and the materials used - concrete, glass, wood and stone only draw attention to and emphasize these relationships.

Recepcja przypomina
szwajcarską szopę

The reception is an interpretation of a Swiss shepherd's shed

© Jakub Wichtowski, Jan Zieliński

relaxing with a view of the Alps

The Bridge consists of two levels - a first floor with a restaurant and hotel area, and a wellness area hidden underground. The reception area, which is an interpretation of a Swiss shepherd's hut, leads guests through an underground tunnel to the common space that is the center of the property itself. Here users have a view of all designed zones. The ACTIVE space is built with pillars and lush greenery, resulting in smaller, separated zones, and their arrangement resembles a dense last. In contrast, the TERM space was created - closed and secluded, prompting reflection.

The Bridge, łącznik

the center of the establishment and the link between the spaces

© Jakub Wichtowski, Jan Zieliński

The Bridge is full of contrasts and surprises. On the one hand, it is open, full of light and energy, on the other, closed, suppressed and focused. It allows to satisfy the needs of relaxation of any type - from group and physical activities to more individual activities focused on concentration and the inner human being, the authors conclude.

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