A floating spa being called Arctic Bath will be erected in the small Swedish village of Harads, a stone’s throw from the Arctic Circle, and the design is straight from the pages of Game of Thrones.
The project, run by Arctic Bath AB, is a free-floating luxury hotel and spa in the middle of the Lule River. That’s correct; this all-year structure won’t be built on land, but water, and ebb or fix with the season.
Architecture renderings by Bertil Harström and Johan Kauppi, whose previous projects include sound-absorbing storage units, show a circular, intimate spa with long crossing logs on the outside to symbolize the logging heritage of this forested region of Sweden. In the center of the spa, the floor is cut away in a ring giving room for the central cold bath, which is open and roofless. Exquisite saunas, treatment rooms, relaxations spaces, and even a bar take up the rooms surrounding the cold bath. Each room is adorned with only the minimal essentials, i.e. modern lounge chairs, a wood-burning furnace, and square windows looking out to the surrounding river.
The aesthetic of the building is au natural, as the log-pile exterior blends the spa into nature, and the lake and cold bath brings nature into the spa. This concept and natural design was inspired by another Harads-based Scandinavian architecture installation called Treehotel. The rooms of this modern forest hideaway are built into the pine canopy only miles from what will become Arctic Bath.
Guest rooms at Arctic Bath are separated from the main circular hub, and include only six rooms, with a 12-person capacity. This headcount keeps the Arctic Bath from becoming overcrowded. Sounds like heaven.
A long walkway over the river allows guests entry to the floating Viking oasis, and once the structure opens in 2018, every season will bring a new experience for visitors. In the winter, architects expect the river water to freeze over in a white expansive sheet of ice; with the warm wooden tones of Arctic Bath beckoning guests inside the steaming spa. Then in the spring and summer, the river will rush with a light current crashing against the exterior.
It’s a fully immersive dip into the relaxations of nature, in a structure only the Swedes could devise. And like Treehotel, which has become an iconic landmark not only in Sweden but in international travel architecture, Arctic Bath is already being buzzed about as the next big adventure destination. (Iceland’s geothermal Blue Lagoon is so 2016.)
Arctic Bath will begin taking reservations in June of next year.
Images by Johan Kauppi and Architects are Bertil Harström & Johan Kauppi.