Thermalbad Zürich – Transforming a brewery into a spa

The old brewery has been transformed into a health resort, allowing visitors to swim on the roof of the building, both on the premises and outdoors, and enjoy the mineral spring, a perfect vantage point for the city of Zurich.

Zurich is famous for the hot springs that lie beneath the city. Some historians agree that not the Romans built the first buildings, but the Celtics and the name of the city derives from the word for water, “dur” as a reference to the lake and springs. One of these mineral springs is located below the Hürlimann Brewery, which is just above the town and offers a great panoramic view. The building is in very good condition; to fulfil its new function, the structure has been redesigned so that visitors can also swim indoors and outdoors. The outdoor pool has been placed on the roof and requires some dramatic changes.

The architects have chosen wood panels as the material for the renovation, a material that refers to the hundred-year-old structure, preserves the rural appearance and exploits the strong, authentic attributes of the complex. However, many of the architectural elements have been preserved and adapted to their new purpose. Parts of the stone cellar have been preserved and transformed into crystal clear pools. The ensemble has emerald green baths, meditation pools with underwater music, Kneipp baths, Irish-Roman baths, massages and saunas supplied with water flowing directly from the Aqui spring of the Helvetic capital.

Outdoor swimming is made possible by the angled pool; water temperature can reach 106 degrees Fahrenheit, 41 degrees Celsius. Given the exquisite view of the city, it would be a pleasure to bathe on the roof. The image showing the top of the structure can be seen as quite modern, proof that wood is a very flexible material that adapts to its surroundings and reinforces its properties.


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