Poetry in Space: Vals Thermal Spa in Switzerland

The Romans had the Baths of Caracalla, we have Swiss architect Peter Zumthor’s Thermal Baths Vals. Built into the hillside of Graubünden, Switzerland, the quarry-like spa was named a National Monument two years after its completion in 1996 (talk about fast tracked). Let’s go there—now.

When the town of Vals, a canton of Graubünden, Switzerland, hired Peter Zumthor to design their thermal baths, he was an undiscovered talent. The project put the architect and the baths on the map. Zumthor achieved cult status (he won the Pritzker Prize in 2009), and the thermal baths became a mecca for architects around the world. With extensive experience in conservation architecture, Zumthor used his knowledge of rustic building materials to create a tactile and sensory series of modern spaces organized around the primal ritual of bathing, achieving pure poetry in space.

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