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Tauern Spa Zell am See, Kaprun, Austria

Wednesday 27 Apr 2011

Embracing natural surrondings

Photos:Rupert Steiner, Franz Reifm├╝ller 
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Award Entry

4-star superior hotel and public spa in the heart of the Austrlian Alps 

This concise urban composition rises up from the valley in a rounded manner and is clearly recognisable from the surrounding mountains as an integrative unit. The roof of the project was, therefore, an important design feature. From below, the roof is to be seen as a synthesis of a traditional wooden alpine roof with the technological elegance of an aircraft wing.The centre of the composition boasts a wind-sheltered, traffic-free area which lies 4.50 m above the adjacent land and opens up to the valley to the east, to the low-lying sun to the west and also to the south. The interior design of the hotel combines cheerful, modern, sporting charm with the unique cosy alpine atmosphere. All guest areas offer stunning views of the mountain region.

The exceptional glassed panorama pool on the top floor acts as a formal reference and trademark of the 4 star hotel and its exclusive hotel spa. After enjoying a sauna in one of the colourful sauna cubicles, you can sit back and relax in the comfortable sofas around the open fireplace of the spa bar and quench your thirst, or simply soak up the peace and quiet in the chill-out area with its panoramic 270° view of the alpine scenery. For those seeking even more variety, the large lower level public spa can be accessed by descending to the lower southern forecourt.

Separate driveways and entrances ensure that the hotel atmosphere remains undisturbed by the numerous day guests to the spa. The walls of the spa and sauna extend into the outside area, thus forming an effective windbreak and a genuine embrace of the natural surroundings.

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