Solemar Brine Baths Bad Drrheim

Geier + Geier

Subject | Over recent years public baths have undergone a dramatic change. Whereas in the first half of our century they developed from simple body-cleaning institutions to sports centres many are now changing from sports facilities pure and simple to multiform recreation centres and "adventure pools". There has been not only a proliferation of the types of bath one can enjoy - warm-water, cold-water, artificial-wave, kiddies' and whirlpool baths; such supplementary facilities as saunas, solaria, therapy rooms, cafés and resting and relaxing areas now also abound. This has given rise to new spatial concepts that accentuate individual areas without separating them one from the other-fluid spaces as it were.

An outstanding example of this are the public brine baths in Bad Dürrheim, a building erected as an extension of the town's spa facilities. Following intensive planning and a short period of construction it was opened in the autumn of 1987. The decision to use wood for the roof was an early one, for this material offers the greatest resistance to the aggressive vapours from the salt water of the baths. Apart from that with this material the architects wanted to relate the building to the wooded region around it.

Design | The whole of the ground level, including the floor and such individual units as the brine grotto, stair-towers, shower cubicles, etc. are of in-situ concrete. The whole of the multifarious panorama is covered by a vast roof with a total area of 2500 m2. Like a net the roofshell dips and rises from one tree-like column to the next and then down to the building's arched boundaries. The saddle-like surfaces between the columns split up the interior into separate areas. The columns open up tree-like towards the top with "branches" that carry annular beams. From these the shell is suspended and above them rise cupolas of glass. The highest of the "trees" is 11.50 m, stands on an island in the large swimming-pool and carries a ring of beams 8 m in diameter. It is the centre of a space 36 m in diameter. Next to the swimming-pool stands the second highest tree 10 m high and supporting a ring 7 m across. It thus forms another separate space, 30 m across. Above the changing-cubicles and showers lower and more

Location

Solemar, Hubertstraße 8, 78073 Bad Dürrheim, Germany

Client

Architect

Geiern-Geier BDA DWB,

Stuttgart

Design Team

Site Manager

Design Timber Shell Roof

Wenzel-Frese-Pötner-Haller,

Karlsruhe

Numerical Production Data Büro für geodätische Meß-und Rechentechnik Prof. Dr K. Linkwitz, Dr H.D. Preuß, Stuttgart, with Dr L. Gründig and Dipl.Ing. J. Bahndorf

Timber Construction Christian Burgbacher Holzwerke, Trossingen, with Chief Carpenter Martin Jörg and Georg Arno

Castings

Entwicklungsinstitut für Gießerei- und Bautechnik Dr A. P. Betschart, Stuttgart

Date of Completion 1987

4 | Roof shell under construction with meridian and annular beams that determine its spherical form.

5 | Annular ring supported by "branches" of tree column and from which meridian ribs are suspended. Above it the glass dome.

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