Ruff Well Water Resort is tucked away in the rural mountainside of Sichuan province, China, and it has a secret. The 2.4 hectare spa winds through a series of natural hot springs, each playing a part in differing stages of bathing - much like the bathhouses of Rome, yet these would surely rival their beauty. Aim Architecture built the resort into the existing landscape, making this getaway truly unplugged and serene.
The resort buildings are constructed with the simplest of materials: glass, stone, wood, and pebbles. Walkways between the buildings are experiences in and of themselves, both graveled and paved with charming bridges over the native streams. “It is a place where water has shaped the land. Rivers have carved out the valley and water naturally springs from the earth in warm water wells,” explain the designers.
Both indoor and outdoor pools can be found at Ruff Well Water, which illustrate the theme of the essence of water and its properties. The spa wing of the resort holds sleek stone-lined pools made from “river stone,” or water-worn river pebbles, as are many of the benches and floors. This integration of indoors and outdoors translates beautifully with just one glance at the facility.
The MuWeCo building, which holds a museum and space for conferences or weddings, is positively striking. The dramatic vault ceiling reaches for the heavens and is paneled with grainy timber, which offers a captivating contrast with the river stone floors. Guest chalets are also stunning, as they capture the tranquility of the mountainside. The rooms offer resort amenities but with rustic simplicity.
Images via Dirk Weiblen