Shhh! Vamed opens 3,600sq m silent spa designed for contemplation

by Jane Kitchen | 08 Dec 2016

Thermal wellness resort operator Vamed Vitality World has added a €14m (US$15m, £12m) stand-alone silent spa to its Therme Laa location in the Weinviertel region of northern Austria.

The 3,600sq m (38,750sq ft) spa – which has a 160-guest capacity – will be completely silent, and was inspired by the two things people are asking for in an increasingly hectic world: space and time for contemplation.

“Our body is perfectly taken care of – what we are lacking is for someone to take care of our souls as well,” said Tom Bauer, COO for Vamed Vitality World, in a keynote at the Global Wellness Summit earlier this year.

Vamed conceptualised the space and worked with architect Wolfgang Vanek of Holzbauer & Partner to realise the project. Vanek drew on elements of sacred architecture, such as 16th century cathedrals, to create a building designed to inspire.

“If you go into a church, all of a sudden, something happens to you – you get calmer,” explained Bauer. “Architecture has an influence on that. We asked: ‘What would be the right interpretation of that building that would translate into the 21st century?’”

The Silent Spa is a separate building with its own entrance – including one for hotel guests – and is directly linked to Therme Laa’s existing thermal spa.

Constructed in a pattern of four ellipses, the spa gravitates around a central tower and three-storey cascade fountain, which the thermal water flows from. The spa includes approximately 500sq m (5,382sq ft) walk-in water landscape filled with the natural mineral waters, including reflecting pools.

Each ellipse has different facilities, offering relaxation loungers, a saltwater pool, salt chamber, spa suites and steam bath. The building also has a 400sq m (4,306sq ft) sauna area with special infusion ceremonies, as well as an exercise room, restaurant and bar, and 100sq m (1,076sq ft) of treatment areas.

Vanek used principles of the Golden Ratio – a common mathematical ratio found in nature that has been used in architecture for thousands of years – in constructing the spa, and the geometrically pleasing format continues through the interior details.

“There are no golden chandeliers – just marble, stone, wood, glass and water – it’s very minimalistic,” said Bauer. “We don’t want to force contemplation, we only want to create a platform where you can experience it.”

Lighting plays a big part in the design, with windows carefully placed to encourage the reflection of sunlight on the water, which then reflects on to the stone walls, creating an atmosphere of tranquility.

Bauer said he expects the Silent Spa to be particularly attractive to customers between the ages of 25 and 55, who are highly educated, successful – and working in high-challenge, stressful, multitasking jobs.

Maintaining silence in the spa, said Bauer, should not be a problem in a country that has such a strong culture of sauna usage, where a respectful quiet is ordinarily adhered to.

“Whoever has been in a sauna understands how a sauna works, and the silent spa will take it one step further,” he explained.

Vamed  Therme Laa  silent spa  contemplation 
Thermal wellness resort operator Vamed Vitality World has added a €14m (US$15m, £12m) stand-alone silent spa to its Therme Laa location in the Weinviertel region of northern Austria. The 3,600sq m (38,750sq ft) spa – which has a 160-guest capacity – will be completely silent, and was inspired by the two things people are asking for in an increasingly hectic world: space and time for contemplation. “Our body is perfectly
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The spa has been designed to leave guests feeling both inspired and contemplative
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