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GUILE AMADEU


Partner and co-owner, Coletivo de Arquitetos


How did you become involved in Botanique? I set up our studio with Rodri- go Lacerda, who I went to university with, in 2009. Ricardo [Semler] was looking for a relatively new architecture company and became interested in us after we won the 10˚ Young Architect Award by the Brazilian Institute of Architects in 2011. I had previously worked on preliminary studies for the San Pelegrino spa project in Italy while at EMBT architects in Barce- lona, but the learning curve for Botanique was steep. We extensively researched the technical aspects of spas and visited spas in Brazil and abroad and set up meetings with their spa managers to get a deeper understanding of operational dynamics.


What Brazilian references are included in the design? From the start, it was made clear that the spa had to have


Brazilian infl uences, but we wanted to avoid the obvious and go for something more refi ned. After thoroughly investigating Brazilian social, culture and artistic ele- ments we chose to focus on ‘silicogravura’ – hand-crafted glass bottles produced along the north-east coast which contain coloured sand designs replicating the land- scape. We emulated this by blasting sand into the walls of the spa and protecting the coloured strips with glass panels.


What considerations did you give to functionality? Understanding the opera- tional needs was a priority. In our design we included a laundry/goods service elevator, for example, that connects to the hotel’s main back of house area, so used towels and robes can be quickly cleaned away without guests seeing them. We also closely analysed building materials for practicality. We chose a non-slip, easy-clean polyurethane resin fl oor that has an elastic quality to allow for a seamless application. This eliminated the need for joints and rounded footers that accumulate dust and dirt, making the spa easier to clean.


The architects used neutral, timeless colours to emphasise bringing the outdoors indoors


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What challenges did you face? When the spa moved into the main building, it took the space originally intended for a res- taurant, so the existing footprint dictated the design. We had to carefully plan the


internal layout, paying particular attention to guest and operational fl ow. Spread over two storeys, with a mezzanine level, we kept the reception, changing rooms and dry treatment rooms on one fl oor separate from the water-based facilities. As only one side of the spa had views over the landscape, we created more intimate, discrete areas – two massage rooms and the changing rooms – on the side that had no natural light. However, we made sure we exploited the outside views in every other area possible.


What part of the design are you most proud of? Botanique is situated in an un- touched area of natural beauty and being able to exploit the spectacular views in every area we possibly could has given the spa a majestic feel. Special double glass, capable of withstanding the huge amount of pressure from the pool and the varying indoor/outdoor temperatures of the sauna, was installed for this purpose. And we intentionally used neutral, timeless col- ours to emphasise bringing the outdoors indoors. Wherever you go in the spa, the landscape is always there, helping people to chill out, relax and enjoy themselves. ●


From Spa Business – Issue 4 2012, p60 READ MORE ONLINE


CLICK HERE LEISURE HANDBOOK 2014 97


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