Body of Water Stretched Upward

Aquaticum Open-Air Baths, Debrecen

Architect: Péter Bordás
Text: Anett Mizsei
Photos: György Palkó, Anna Illés

Senior designer Péter Bordás and his fellow architects „folded” a refreshing experience into a spectacular box. Seen from a bird’s eye view, the sunbath-deck of the rectangular structure seems to be floating above the foliage of the Great Wood. It is not a tower, but its 12-metre height makes it a vantage point or a lookout-tower. In order to protect the precious vegetation, new buildings were built on the sites of former facilities, which involved a more intense and dense integration of experiences and functions. This is the most spectacular component of the renewed baths complex, whilst it is also part of a vision embracing a wider, more comprehensive system of interrelations of architecture and landscape design. A leitmotif of this is the wave design, appearing either set on its edge, like a blade, or as a gently undulating green hillside that separates the zone of the baths complex from the road. This concept tries to find a delicate balance between the faculties of the terrain in the Great Hungarian Plain and a gentle dynamism of the site whilst keeping the focuses of the design within the human scale. In line with the designs, half of the energy-consumption of the development is provided by renewable energy sources: a recycling thermal pump system based on thermal water uses the waste heat of the natural spring with an efficiency of 100 per cent. Electricity is also provided by a small power-plant burning the gases of the thermal water. During its operation period so far, in contrast with the previous schemes, the entire energy-demand was completely supplied by the above-mentioned „green” sources.

General design: BORD Építész Stúdió
Leading architect: Péter Bordás
Project architect: Dalma Kiss
Architects: Dániel Baráth, Zsolt Belányi, Róbert Gulyás, Noémi Gyárfás, Dorottya Hindy, Anna Illés, Artúr Lente, Linda Lente-Papp, Tamás Mezey, Balázs Móser, Györgyi Püspöki, Viola Tóth, István Ulmann, Réka Zsólyomi, Kata Zih
Garden, landscape: Judit Doma-Tarcsányi, Andrea Waldmann, Beatrix Bőcs – Gardenworks
HVAC: Zoltán Hollókövi – BORD Studio
Structure: Zsigmond Dezső– Hydrastat Engineering Office
Glasswork patterns: Zsófia Szőnyegi textile designer
Glasswork graphic design: Rotblau Labor
Client: Debreceni Gyógyfürdő Kft.
Main contractor: Hunép Zrt.