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Conversing with the shoreline

26 October 2018 by Strøm Spa Nordique

The environment in which a building is located is the main driving force behind the architectural project. A site is first and foremost a parcel of land with boundaries established by regulations, but beyond its legal limits, there is also a cultural context, a territorial ecosystem, a regional climate, a shared history, current and new users, a future to be drawn. We are not inventing our territory, nor should we exploit it. We integrate and adapt to it, we are part of it. What if the building was not used as a canvas for the landscape but rather the other way around?

This type of architecture can be called vernacular or regionalist architecture. The identity of the Strøm spas is found there, in the authenticity of a building that is the product of the place in which it is built. Moreover, it is in the very nature of a Nordic spa to be in close proximity to nature and the rhythm of the seasons. It is essential to discover the elements.

 A visit to the Bassin Brown where the new Strøm Nordic Spa of Old Quebec is located – A place marked by history

A day to admire and contemplate all the wonderful details of the things surrounding us. The beautiful and wild nature, the rigid and clear human interventions and the interweaving between these last two. That is why the combination of natural and human elements is able to dance, waltz, confront and admire each other on an intimate scale. For Quebec City, for the Bassin Brown, it means embarking upon those moments when the St. Lawrence River and humankind came together. The Strøm is a tribute to this river, the driving force of our history.

The directionality brings fluidity to the space and the course. To play on the translation of volumes on axes to create the transitional spaces between the different spa experiences. The conversation with the shoreline as a source of inspiration for the vernacular industrial environment, the river as a key point of the project and contemplation as its finality.

Use such axes as windows, visual openings, extension of perceptions. Like the principle of a vista, framing an element creates a feeling of bringing the individual closer to said element. To frame views is to stage something precious. It is the knowledge of when to hide and deny this gem to better reveal it later, by showing just enough.

To dig is to allow people’s imagination to find underground rivers. Constantly changing the scenery, tidal variations allow the occasional discoveries. In this archaeological world we feel like we are returning to the sources, in an intimacy with the earth, humid, dark, silent.

 

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