This small private spa and sauna in Montlingen, a village along the banks of the Rhine valley is a striking and simple addition to a quiet residential street. Precisely executed, it is set in a lush tended garden. It is restrained yet elegant, transforming a former single storey garage into a rust coloured jewel box.
Despite its small size, the three covered parking spaces at street level and the small first floor spa, become an extraordinary opportunity to reflect on the relationship between public space and private home life. The project is, in reality, the extension of an existing garage. The elevation gives the new volume a dimension that creates a dialogue with the three existing conditions: the public street, the garden and the house. The “monolithic” expressiveness of the volume comes from the desire to interpret a social condition that has evolved in the region and to insert it into dialogue with the archaic nature of the Rhine valley. The result is a sort of erratic boulder that relates to the sinuosity of a landscape that speaks of ancient glaciers, erosions and a spirit of enterprise of the inhabitants in taming an impetuous Nature. It becomes a landmark in microcosm, a definite sign in its context. It is a presence that in its abstractness redeems the idea that architecture must always ask the correct question in order to build the right answer.