Project preview

Geo force: Geothermal lagoon Canada

One of the world’s largest man-made geothermal developments is set to make a splash in Québec in 2024, Spa Business dives in to discover the details


Plans for a net-zero geothermal bathing lagoon and chalet village near Québec City, Canada are blazing a trail in sustainability.

GeoLagoon, a privately funded company, is on a mission to create a relaxing nature-centric eco-village which it claims will be powered entirely by natural resources in Charlevoix, a region north-west of the province’s capital.

The beating heart at the centre of the destination is a man-made 120,000sq ft lagoon which is one of the largest of its kind in the world (see p34).

Underneath the lagoon a vast patent-pending thermal reservoir will be heated to 70˚C by a combination of geothermal, solar and biomass energy.

This is designed to not only keep the lagoon at a toasty 38˚C throughout the year, but to also heat the accommodation.

It’s proposed that the site will feature 300 prefab chalets clad in solar and thermal panels, which will power the water heaters in the reservoir.

GeoLagoon is owned by Louis Massicotte. The Canadian entrepreneur is the former president of the leisure complex Village Vacances Valcartier and also has a background in technology and marketing. He created the concept having been impressed by Iceland’s iconic Blue Lagoon bathing destination.

He told Spa Business: “Our aspiration is to create an international benchmark for renewable energy models, the goal is to become carbon-positive and produce more energy than we consume.”

Funding the vision
Massicotte estimates that the GeoLagoon will cost a minimum of CAD$325m (US$244.8m, €235.4m, £207m) and potentially up to CAD$500m (US$376.5m, €362.3m, £318.6m) to realise.

To finance the construction, GeoLagoon is selling the chalets to investors who can then rent them out in the short-term to tourists or people who want to live in them. Prices for the chalets start at CAD$819,000 (US$615,400, €592,600, £519,400).

GeoLagoon won’t provide rental management services for the properties but it will designate a firm for home-owners to use. The lagoon itself will be owned and operated by a third-party corporation, which will also handle ticket sales for day visitors, creating another revenue stream.

Weaving in wellness
Massicotte says that up to 2,000 people will be able to enjoy the lagoon’s warm waters at any one time. “Guests will be able to bathe and enjoy epic mountain views during the day and soak by star and moonlight in the evenings,” he says.

The team is also looking to collaborate with a third party operator to open a world-class spa at the property. No spa consultant has been appointed yet as Massicotte feels this will be up to the operator.

He predicts the spa will cover around 500sq m and include 25 treatment rooms in addition to a floating massage service in the lagoon.

Location, location, location
Work hasn’t started on the Charlevoix site as a permit has yet to be granted. Massicotte is hopeful the company’s focus on nature will help sway the authorities. His aim is to begin construction in March 2023 and to complete the project by December 2024.

It’s highly ambitious. But then so is Massicotte. He already has sites mapped out for three more GeoLagoons – in Lanaudière, The Laurentians and The Eastern Townships. Each on the same size and scale as the one in Charlevoix.

All locations have been selected thanks to their proximity to Québec City or Montréal meaning they’re easily accessible to urban dwellers – each is around an hour’s drive from one of the cities.

Massicotte’s aspirations don’t just stop there, however. “The business plan and the technology were created to be duplicated anywhere,” he reveals, “we have 10 more GeoLagoon locations planned for Canada and we’re already in talks with people from five other countries.

“If we want to respond correctly and quickly to demand, the franchise model is a viable part of our expansion plans.”

World’s largest hot springs

• At 120,000sq ft GeoLagoon would be one the world’s largest man-made hot bathing pools, although there are bigger naturally-formed thermal lakes

• Bear Lake in Romania is a heliothermic lake covering 430,556sq ft. It’s heated by the sun and maintains this warmth due to the composition of its saline waters

• Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand measures 409,029sq ft, but at 50-60˚C is too hot for bathing in

• Lake Hévíz in Hungary is reported to be the world’s largest swimmable thermal lake covering 511,286sq ft

• Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, one of the most well-known man-made geothermal lakes, is 93,646sq ft

photo: GeoLagoon

"If we want to respond quickly to demand, the franchise model is a real solution" – GeoLagoon owner, Louis Massicotte

Gallery
Click on an image to open the image gallery
company profile
Company profile: Gharieni Group
30 years of innovation and German engineering, are the cornerstones of the Gharieni Group’s premium global brand – known for its Mind/Body Verified Wellness Technologies – and the highest quality medical, spa, and wellness equipment.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
The i360 opened in August following 11 years of development
Julia Barfield and David Marks also designed the London Eye
"This is the first of these towers, but it might not be the last"

The challenges of designing Brighton's i360

Contemporary Ming Courtyard Suites feature tranquil courtyards
"This carefully choreographed interplay of room and courtyard extends through all scales of the masterplan"

The desire to save a threatened forest and historic buildings in China led to a truly unique resort, We speak to the people that made it happen

Jeanne Gang writes for a range of publications. She is currently teaching at Harvard Graduate School of Design
Jeanne Gang studied at the University of Illinois and Harvard Graduate School of Design
"Understanding science is so important. People are denying climate change. It’s a crisis"

The architect behind the American Museum of Natural History’s major new wing on idealism and the potential of design

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The spa has been designed to blend into the surroundings and reflect Lefay’s philosophy of healing through nature
"Wellness embraces the entire holiday experience"

The design of the newly-opened Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomitti in Italy aims to celebrate and protect its spectacular surroundings

The city will feature a huge range of cultural, sporting, retail and leisure facilities
Andreas Klok Pedersen
"I say no more than yes. You need both sides – people presenting ideas and people not afraid to say if the idea isn’t good."

Discovering new talent and saying no

Architecture and mindfulness: Ben Channon
Ben Channon
"I hope architects gain a genuine understanding of how buildings and spaces affect our mental wellbeing and how their design can be tailored towards making people happier and healthier"

Ben Channon has written Happy by Design, a new book about how architecture affects our mental health. He explains how we can all be happier at home

features
"Freespace describes a generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture’s agenda"

On the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale theme

A range of events, workshops and performances bring the community together
Steve and Marie Nygren
"The vision was to create a community that feels as though it’s always been there"

Eco community Serenbe was launched in the heart of the Giorgia countryside to provide an alternative to the traditional American suburb. As work starts on a new wellness hamlet, we speak to the founders

The Panda House features separate spaces for the male and female pandas
David Zahle
"I realised we’d created an environment where it was more about talent and trust than how much experience you had."

Designing the Panda House for Copenhagen Zoo

cladkit product news
Codelocks develops new glass door smart lock
The new lock model allows facilities and building managers to create and manage access via an app or online portal
Megan Whitby
Codelocks has launched its first glass door smart lock to bring intelligent access control to modern spa, leisure, fitness and ...
Eco Resort Network conference to convene in Mauritius this May
The event will be hosted in the Mauritius in 2024
Megan Whitby
Hospitality industry event Eco Resort Network is set to take place at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, Turtle Bay, Mauritius, from ...
Alberto Apostoli and Newform collaborate to launch the A.Zeta showerhead
The showerhead offers two modes; rainfall or waterfall
Megan Whitby
Italian architect Alberto Apostoli has renewed his partnership with Newform – an Italian wellness company – and designed A.Zeta. A.Zeta ...
cladkit product news
Alberto Apostoli designs tech-forward Wellness Therapy furniture collection for Varaschin
The furniture collection draws on absolute geometries, pure lines, neutral colours and strong references to nature
Megan Whitby
Furniture manufacturer Varaschin has unveiled the new Wellness Therapy range, designed by Italian spa and wellness architect and designer Alberto ...
Siminetti unveils iridescent decorative panelling range inspired by plants
The Clematis design
Megan Whitby
The Botanicals is Siminetti’s newest Mother of Pearl decorative panelling collection, inspired by the distinctive patterns found in botany and ...
Mather & Co and ITV unite to create Coronation Street Experience
Mather & Co has transformed the visitor centre into the ultimate haven for ardent Coronation Street viewers
Magali Robathan
Experience designers, Mather & Co, have orchestrated a remarkable collaboration with ITV to unveil the new Coronation Street Experience, a ...
cladkit product news
Eden project uses drones to spell out climate change warning
Magali Robathan
Almost 300 drones were used to signal an environmental message above the Eden Project’s biomes, during the UN Climate Change ...
CSI Design Expo Americas 2024 announces new Attractions & Entertainment Technology Zone
The event will allow buyers and suppliers to meet
Magali Robathan
Cruise Ship Interiors (CSI) invites cruise lines, shipyards, design studios, outfitters, and suppliers to take part in CSI Design Expo ...
Koto Design introduces wood-fired hot tub
Koto is known for crafting modular, energy-neutral cabins and homes
Katie Barnes
A striking wood-fired hot tub has been unveiled by Koto, an architecture and design studio which has a passion for ...