7132 Thermal Baths

7132 Thermal Baths (formerly Therme Vals) is a hotel/spa complex in Vals, built over the only thermal springs in the Graubünden canton in Switzerland. Completed in 1996, the spa was designed by Peter Zumthor (Pritzker 2009).

7132 Thermal Baths
OwnerRemo Stoffel


Hotel complex from the 1960s.

In the 1960s a German property developer, Karl Kurt Vorlop, built a hotel complex with over 1,000 beds to take advantage of the naturally occurring thermal springs and the source, which provides the water for Valser mineral water, sold in Switzerland. After the developer went bankrupt, the village of Vals bought the five hotels in development in 1983 and commissioned a hydrotherapy centre at the middle of the five hotels on the source of the thermal springs. The spa facility was built between 1993 and 1996, designed by Peter Zumthor.

In 2012, the hotel and spa, previously owned by the Vals community, was sold to the investor Remo Stoffel for CHF 7.8 million.[1][2] Stoffel renamed the thermal site 7132 Therme & Hotel.[3] Stoffel turned the spa into a luxury resort and made its access exclusive to the clients of his next-door hotel.[3] In 2015, the architect Thom Mayne proposed a skyscrapping tower project right next to the Baths.[4] The project sparked controversy in the field of architecture.[5]

In 2017, Peter Zumthor complained that Stoffel was killing the social project of the Therme initially designed for the local community.[2]


Detail of masonry, and exterior wall.


Peter Zumthor was selected as the architect for the spa. The concept of the building is based on an architectural interpretation of a stone quarry.[6]:200 Very characteristic for the movement in the building is constant change between the very small intimate spaces and the large meandering bath.[6]:143–148

Built using locally quarried Valser quartzite slabs,[7] the spa building is made up of 15 different table-like units, 5 metres in height, with cantilevered concrete roof units supported by tie-beams. These units fit together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. The nature of the construction is revealed through close inspection of the roof – the roofs of the units don't join, with the 8 cm gaps covered by glass to prevent water ingress. Inside, this provides a dichotomy – the concrete makes the roof appear heavy, but the gaps between the units also make the roof appear to float.

The baths were designed to look as if they pre-dated the hotel complex, as if they were a form of cave or quarry-like structure. This is particularly evident from observing the grass roof structure of the baths, which resemble the foundations of an archaeological site, and reveal the form of the various bath rooms which lie below, half buried into the hill-side.

There are 60,000 one meter long sections of stone forming the cladding of the walls. They appear random like an ashlar wall but there is a regular order. The cladding stones are of three different heights, but the total of the three is always 15 cm, so it allows for variety in arrangement, whilst facilitating construction.


In 2016, Thom Mayne redesigned the hotel's entrance. Kengo Kuma designed the top-floor suites and Tadao Ando also worked on the project.[8][9]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Vals thermal baths change hands Template:Swissinfo
  2. ^ a b "Therme Vals spa has been destroyed says Peter Zumthor". Dezeen. 11 May 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b Clemence, Sara (14 November 2014). "Swiss Bliss at Therme Vals". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Morphosis unveils plans for "Minimalist" skyscraper". Dezeen. 25 March 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  5. ^ "A Thom Mayne design draws critics -- before it is officially unveiled". Los Angeles Times. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  6. ^ a b Brnic, Ivica. Nahe Ferne: Sakrale Aspekte im Prisma der Profanbauten von Tadao Ando, Louis I. Kahn und Peter Zumthor. Zurich: Park Books. ISBN 978-3-03860-121-0.
  7. ^ "The Therme Vals / Peter Zumthor". ArchDaily. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Design and Wellness: The Therme Vals Case". THE COOL POOL by Fluidra. 18 October 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  9. ^ Ro, Lauren (16 February 2017). "Luxe 'House of Architects' spa hotel features rooms by Pritzker winners". Curbed. Retrieved 9 January 2020.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 46°37′19″N 9°10′52″E / 46.622°N 9.181°E / 46.622; 9.181