©Uwe Ditz

The redevelopment of the traditional resort of Berg minerai spa in Stuttgart has been completed. The redevelopment of Stuttgart's oldest swimming baths focused on retaining the originai character of the bathing landscape with its sauna area from the 1950s and to bring the building up to date technically.
Stuttgart's cult baths Berg minerai spa are now open to bathers. 163 years of history have given Stuttgart's oldest minerai spa its unique selling point - and the cult of the inhabitants of Stuttgart surrounding the baths is also considerable. The redevelopment focused on preserving the minerai spa's unique character and interpreting the redesign style of the 1950s and 1970s in a contemporary way. The main challenge for 4a Architekten therefore lay in finding the right balance between preservation, renewal and supplement. The creative and technical redevelopment comprised the entire existing building with indoor and outdoor pool areas, catering and a sauna area on the upper floor.

Just its exclusive location at the centre of town the, surrounded by spacious parkland with well-established trees, already gives Stuttgart's cult baths a particular quality of space in which to spend time and attractiveness. The L-shaped structure of the building its north and east wings, in which the rectangular outdoor pool lies with the character of a lake, remained unchanged with its originai shape and was reduced to its shell. The reconception and organisation of the entire facilities continue the existing procedures. The foyer at the hub of the axes of the building therefore remains the centrai point of intersection in the baths. But visitors will in future reach the deeper positioned foyer via a ramp, as the main entrance has been relocated for the sake of disabled access further into the middle of the building. Due to the rearrangement of the pay desk and the relocation of the catering facilities from the upper storey to the ground floor, the entrance hall could be given an open and transparent design. The view towards the outdoor pool and into the garden will in future be uninterrupted, giving rise to an extensive and airy atmosphere in the interior. Distinctive features are provided by artistic elements from the originai building such as the restored Ackermann glass art on the ceiling and the gilded bathtub on the gallery. The bathing level with its bathing hall, exercise pool and outdoor pool remains on the ground floor.

The sauna sections are located on the upper storey with reclining areas which remain separate from each other far women and men, along with a gym with a lovely view of the park between the bathing hall and exercise pool. While the men's changing and shower area far the entire bathing and sauna facilities is located in the basement, the women's areas are accommodated on the upper storey. The old exercise pool to the east of the facilities was demolished and replaced with an annex to the bathing hall which continues the characteristic structure of the building. Due to the extension of the east wing, the new building dovetails with the existing building and the exercise pool can be used in future independently of public bathing. Far the separate use of the exercise pool, changing areas, showers and WCS are located on the upper storey. New spaces far technical installations were created in the basement. lt was possible to extend the bathing hall both on the ground floor and on the upper floor in the farm of a gallery with reclining areas. A shaping element in the bathing hall is a new wooden-strip ceiling that vaults aver the ceiling as far as the glass façade with a gentle sway. lt gives the entire interiora warm atmosphere and provides good acoustics. The new tiled wall in the bathing hall, developed in collaboration with Stuttgart artist Prof. Matthias Kohlmann, also picks up on the essential features of the originai building whilst interpreting them anew. lt is therefare stili easy to read the handwriting of the 1950s while the design has a contemporary feel and integrates harmoniously into the overall concept. The adjoining exercise pool continues the materiality from the bathing hall with the wooden-strip ceiling, the change of tiles and exposed concrete surfaces and the extensive glazing towards the park. Here Hundhausen's restored glass art creates a distinctive colour highlight in the finishing exposed concrete wall.

The redevelopment measures at Berg minerai spa comprised ali surfaces, fixtures and technical installations. In the style of the originai appearance, the existing support grid structures the large-surface glass façades which were divided into enclosed, half-open and open areas. Relevant to the external appearance was also the retention of the sun balconies with awnings and horizontal balustrades. The characteristic summer changing areas and the wooden loungers outside were stored, prepared and incorporated into the new concept after the minerai spa was closed. The same applies to the cold-water showers and the suspended lights in the cold pool hall.
Even though the entire outdoor area - the gardens with well-established trees, sunbathing lawns, rosebushes, sculptures, benches, wooden loungers and the lake-like outdoor pool - looks almost the same it did as before the redevelopment, comprehensive renovation was carried out here in particular. Although the outdoor pool was retained in shape and size, it had to be completely re-edified including the fountain of the centrai spring and the surfaces surrounding the pool. However, the new pool has been tiled and provided with a channel connecting the indoor and outdoor pools. The new pool lighting enables it to be used longer during the winter. Mainly calm and subdued materials were used both in the interior and outside such as wood, porcelain stoneware, mosaic tiles, exposed concrete and steel. The largely muted colours create a pleasantly calm and relaxing atmosphere in the baths. With the new design concept, spatial optimisations and slight changes to procedures, it has been possible to create completely new qualities in the baths - at the same time, the characteristic appearance of Berg minerai spa, legendary for the inhabitants of Stuttgart, has been successfully preserved.

Project Sheets
Location: Stuttgart
Planning: Martin Schweizer (Projektleitung) Thorsten Buck, Martina Henke, Andreas Rothmann
Tendering/Contracting: lzabella Huttig, Patricia Low
Construction management: Daniel Hauptmann, Mare Holtschmidt, Silvia Nanz
Landscape planning: Landschaftsarchitekten Wiedemann und Schweizer
Decoupling structures lngenieursgesellschaft: Prof. Kobus und Partner GmbH
Construction period: 10/2016 to 10/2020
Gross cubie volume Redevelopment approx.: 15.144 mc
New building: 8.092 mc
Total: 23.236 mc
Gross floor area Redevelopment approx.: 3.113 mq
New building: 2.082 mq
Total: 5.195 mq
Service phases (HOAI) 1 to 9