Gega Spa Tibet
21 August 2011

The Yarlung Tsangpo river runs hidden in the southern mountains in Tibet; carving some spectacular gorges,that can reach more than 5000 m deep. Near Pai town; at the foot of the Namchabarwa mountain(7782 m), lies a small valley where the gega spa is located. The design of the spa works as a landscape operation to hollow out this valley. There is no visible perception of the building from the outside leaving only the evocation of a movement path into and through the earth towards the spa. The spa itself works predominantly with a local stone found in the neighboring region. This sparse material palette coupled with the bodies’ interaction with different scales of spring pools creates the sense of an elemental space which places the emphasis firmly on the ritual of bathing.

The experience of this spa is about protection, fluidness, and the presence of nature. The spa is surrounded by a double skin of large stone walls which acts to both house the functional program of the building and also to create a form of protective layering between the inner area of the pools and the outside world. Within this interior world of the pools movement is guided by a transitional space operating akin to an engawa; an external covered path that links all programs within the spa. This movement path traces its course around the water at the heart of the spa, with the pools enclosed by a layered series of walls, yet open to the sky of the experience of nature. 






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