Nestled in a tree-lined park in Bad Essen, Germany, a series of health spas entice visitors with the promise of relaxation and renewal. The Sole Arena, designed by design firm Lützow 7, is the central attraction in the health spa resort park. Utilizing a thermal spring, the cylindrical structure offers visitors a luxurious respite to enjoy the benefits of the natural salt waters.
Visitors can enter the structure through one of three tunnel-like entrances. The openings resemble natural cuts in the wood, and appear as if the exterior skin was bark with fresh wood inside. Inside, the structure opens right up to the natural sky. The interior rotunda is centered around a fountain that is encircled by benches.
The fountain pumps the natural salt brine, creating a fine, salty fog. Visitors can sit and relax, breathing and absorbing the salted air, which is also intermixed with pine. The respiratory benefits of salted mist was discovered in the area over 100 years ago as a side effect of the local salt production – an industry indigenous to the area for 500 years.
The Sole Arena is constructed in a historic tradition, but with a modern aesthetic. The outer skin is a latticework of timber that is then filled with black thorn brush wood. Together, they serve as an optimal vaporization surface, absorbing the salty mist slowly, letting it linger inside the inner chamber. Using this insulation method, the air in the interior has the same saltiness as oceanic air. The Sole Arena is a tranquil place for visitors to breathe easy, day or night.