Just as human skin alters under the influence of sunlight, temperature differences, gravity and age, so this new beauty centre in western Hungary has a constantly changing facade. The 3000 m² building is located in the spa town of Hévíz, which sits on the shores of Europe’s largest thermal lake. For centuries the elderly in particular have been coming to this mildly radioactive lake, rich in sulphur compounds and unique bacteria, to be treated for rheumatism and various other joint and muscular disorders. Nowadays the spa is a popular holiday destination for people of all ages, including in winter, since the water remains at a comfortable temperature.
The liveliness of the facade designed by ZSK Architects, is manifested in three different ways. Firstly, a large part of it will be overgrown by climbing plants whose leaves will grow, change colour, fall and reappear during the year. Secondly, the reflection of daylight and sunlight on the large, set-back glass facade panels and window surfaces, gives the facade a constantly changing appearance over the course of the day. And thirdly, in the evenings, the various functions (café, wellness centre, dental practice) inject life into different parts of the building, all of which can be seen through the large, display-style windows.
In addition, in the evening, the white/pale green glass facade surfaces, printed with a vertical pattern of tiny water lilies, are brightly lit from the corners of the display windows with linear dynamic LED lighting, which contrasts with the warmer yellowish lighting in the interior. This variety of different coloured glass is reminiscent of a collection of perfume bottles, thereby obliquely expressing the function of the building. Until the creepers have covered the full height of the building, even the indirectly illuminated steel guide wires participate in the beautiful light play.
Emiel Lamers - A10