Contemporary Bad Ems sauna, Rhineland-Palatinate wellness and leisure, Northwest German architecture design images, Architect

River Sauna in Bad Ems

Emser Therme Contemporary Health Building Germany design by 4a Architekten GmbH

post updated 23 September 2023

Design: 4a Architekten GmbH

Location: Bad Ems, Rhineland-Palatinate, northwestern Germany

A New Floating Sauna for Emser Thermal Spa

River Sauna in Bad Ems, Emser thermal spa

Photos by David Matthiessen, Stuttgart

17 Sep 2014

River Sauna in Bad Ems, Germany

Stuttgart/Bad Ems, September 2014. The Emser thermal spa now has a new highlight to offer: a 250 sqm floating sauna has recently been added to the wide range of wellness and leisure activities offered by the sauna park. It is the first river sauna in Germany that is open all year round and, like the Emser thermal spa, was realised by 4a Architekten.

With its new floating sauna located on the river Lahn, the Emser thermal spa directly continues the slogan “Wellness on the River”. The extreme variations in the water level of the river posed a major challenge for the project.

River Sauna

The challenge faced at the planning stage was that the sauna would not only have to be designed as a floating structure but would also have to meet the requirements of a classic building construction. With a water level of less than 1.40 metres, the pontoon is seated on four foundations and must withstand the possibility of sagging.

River Sauna

The bearing structure consists of a spatial steel framework into which around 20 rectangular floats are latched. Two hinge-mounted steel cylindrical tubes, also known as pier anchors, ensure that the pontoon is securely connected to land. Access is provided by a similarly hinge-mounted jetty. Like the Emser thermal spa, the river sauna also continues the theme of pebbles with soft curves in its layout.

River Sauna

The approximately 250 sqm floor area incorporates two Finnish saunas, a relaxation room with bar, and a sundeck. The materials chosen are also in keeping with the Emser thermal spa: like the two cubes in the entrance area of the Emser thermal spa, the outside walls of the floating sauna are also clad in larchwood. In the interior, wall panels made from brushed alder, ceiling panelling consisting of abachi wood slats, anthracite-coloured porcelain stoneware and glass-mosaic tiles create an atmosphere of well-being.

The relaxation room and sundeck offer superb panoramic views of the river Lahn. On the side facing the riverbank, the structure has a closed design, allowing guests to remain undisturbed when in the sauna – all that accompanies their experience in the sauna is the gentle rush of water flowing over the weir.

River Sauna

River Sauna in Bad Ems, Germany – Building Information

Location: Emser Therme
Client: Emser Therme GmbH
Architect: 4a Architekten GmbH
Matthias Burkart
Alexander von Salmuth
Ernst Ulrich Tillmanns
Project management: Martin Schweizer
Construction management: Stefan Schweizer
Structural planning: Björnsen Beratende Ingenieure GmbH
Heating, ventilation and sanitation technology: Kannewischer Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH
Electrical engineering: TP-Elektroplan GmbH

Planning period: 2010 to 06/2014
Construction period: 09/2013 to 06/2014
Construction costs: 1,230,000 EUR
Gross floor area: approx. 250 m²
Gross cubic volume: approx. 1,140 m³
Service phases (HOAI): 1 to 8

Photographs: David Matthiessen, Stuttgart

River Sauna

River Sauna in Bad Ems, Germany images / information from 4a Architekten GmbH

Location: Bad Ems, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, western Europe

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