Bad Aibling, a small resort some 60 km south-east of Munich, and the oldest spa in Bavaria, went under the hands Behnisch Architects for a face lift with the goal of complementing its existing health and leisure amenities with a new thermal spa baths, associated extensive wellness areas and outdoor swimming pools. The new facilities provide an attractive, health-orientated focus for both the local community and the region, drawing upon the traditions of the town. The layout of the complex respects the beautiful surrounding landscape, with the building opening out onto the river fronted sunbathing meadow. The south west aspect ensures that the building and outdoor areas of the pool deck are flooded in sunlight. From here visitors have commanding views out towards the Bavarian Alps. In responding to the complex demands of water quality, indoor environment and privacy the various indoor pools and treatment areas are accommodated in separate ‘cabinet-like’ units. These are united by an undulating pool deck which extends from the changing areas through a generous winter garden out toward the outdoor terraces.
The winter garden offers visitors various bathing possibilities in a quiet and relaxed environment and provides access to both cabinets and the outdoor pools, sauna areas. The deck is sheltered by a low-lying timber roof. An extensive array of glazed roof lights ensure variable day lighting conditions throughout the winter garden. The cabinets themselves are expressed as a series of differently sized domes. Largely opaque, the domes are perforated by various circular openings. Each dome has a distinctly individual character promoted by the incidence of natural light and complimentary artificial lighting, the use of different materials and colors, different water features and acoustic qualities.