Entering the building it is as if you are passing into the mountains where the major rivers emerge.
Compression and the dark masonry walls either side together evoke the experience of entering a gorge like the Rakaia River gorge close by.
Then, as you proceed further, you discover the pools – as if they are natural hot pools up in the mountains with Opuke (Mt Hutt) looming up in the background.
It is a place to explore with intrigue, surprise, and discovery, evoking the magic of finding natural hot pools in the mountains.
Our initial response to the plains site was to create landforms enclosing the external pools to protect from prevailing winds and reduce heat loss from the pool surface.
The site / foothills landscape uses excavated materials from a lake which separates the adult and family pool areas, plus the lake is also used as a heat sink for excess energy created by the solar array in summer months.
The main entry is cut through the landform, with the building emerging from the site and opening to the views to the distant main divide.
The entry volume and café, provide a public space between the adult and family pool experience, emerging from between the concrete walls and roof form above.
A large area of the site is taken up with the solar array and pool plant, which required careful orientation of the building and landscape to create a secluded pool experience.