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Palais Thermal

  • Palais Thermal
  • Palais Thermal
  • Palais Thermal
  • Palais Thermal

For 165 years the old Graf-Eberhard Baths, in Bad Wildbad, situated in the northern part of the Black Forest, have been considered one of Europe's finest bathing temples.

Built in 1847 directly over a thermal spring, the baths have undergone many different extensions and modernisations over the years. The ensemble is characterised by the new Eberhard baths, a terraced structure from the ‘70s, which had been empty for some years.

These historic leisure baths with their 'Maurische Halle' (Moorish Room) and 'Fürstenbädern' (Prince's Baths) are now extending their range of facilities with an outside, canvas-covered, spa area.

In order to prevent people looking in from the nearby hotel, and to offer sauna users privacy, the entire north-facing side of the pool level has been designed with a filigree PES/PVC membrane construction made by German formTL. It offers protection against the weather, as well as framing the view towards the south and east of the valley.

Despite the geometrical and constructional challenges, or, rather, because of these, the light construction appears to float. Its basic structure consists of a pre-tensioned membrane with three high points and lateral anchoring. In order to offer effective protection from prying eyes, the membrane roof is tilted on its longest axis, forming some extreme geometrical shapes: the construction comprises some very steep and some very flat areas, the latter posing a particular challenge due to winter snow.

Moreover, the organically shaped high-point rings around the masts are perfectly and geometrically integrated into the double-curved membrane surface, offering unhindered views up to the sky. The unusual length of the freestanding front side is extraordinary. Even on open ground, this construction would have been a challenge

Architects | KTP Architecten, Ostfildern, Germany 
Location | Bad Wildbad, Germany
Technical info | PES/PVC membrane
Picture credits | Roland Halbe