Key terms; filtering, wellness, light, community, health
The foreseen extreme weather conditions and atmospheric phenomena present apparent obstacles and potentials for the built environment. A critique against the passive, hermetic environment of many contemporary buildings, this proposition is an architectural playground, spatializing climatic, weather and seasonal conditions for an all-around wellness centre. Through merging distinct programs of a multifunctional performance hall, market spaces, restaurants, group meditation, day spa and long-stay reflection retreat, the proposition challenges existing programmatic and cultural frameworks towards a site-specific, ecological response to the wellness scene and cultural identity of Brussels.
The response is formed by taking a position on a distinction between the public and private realm that develops further into creating a transition between the city and solitary retreat. A range of scenarios is tested through a journey starting with public markets and on-street gallery spaces through to spiritual retreats. The distinction is made through a subtle entrance into a courtyard that takes the visitor into a series of gardens across 4 levels. The link is then developed further through a public restaurant and fitness suite through to a day spa. This is followed by group meditation spaces, a thermal experience,
a long-stay retreat and a stepping well at roof level.
The theme of wellness is then tested by filtering down from a busy urban environment to peaceful spaces that are important to well-being. A design of a climate and light filtering facade supports the internal spaces with versatile environments that are program specific and include strategies such as; passive ventilation, water harvesting and winter gardens to create a healthy environment and break from the city.