Excerpt: Elysium Spa is a wellness space designed by the architectural firm GRAU Architects. This space is a meditative hiding place from the outside world. We build the concept of an urban spa on the perceptions of space as a temple for the body. The reference is the historical public baths Grössling, which are located nearby and provide visitors with the purifying procedures of body and soul.
[Text as submitted by Architect] The word Elysium in Greek mythology meant the island of the blissful – a place on the western edge of the earth where the gods can transfer their favourites alive, immortal heroes living there in constant spring and without worries.
When designing the spa in the middle of the historical centre of Bratislava, we came out of the need to break free from the daily cycle and calm down. This space is a meditative hiding place from the outside world. We build the concept of an urban spa on the perceptions of space as a temple for the body. The reference is the historical public baths Grössling, which are located nearby and provide visitors with the purifying procedures of body and soul.
Through a hidden entrance from Grösslingova Street, we dive into the basement of a historic building via the original stone staircase. In the former cellars, we preserved the actual brick vaulted ceiling. We build the concept on embedded objects and a combination of terrazzo, brick, cobalt and black cladding or wood materials. These objects define the interspace that winds freely around the entire spa. In the second plan, we work with light—Natural, which enters through existing window openings or skylights and is dynamic during the day.
The experience is unique at every time and period. Or with the artificial, which is based on the functional substance but also underlines the overall intimate atmosphere of the space. A visit to the Elysium Spa is supposed to be a kind of experiential path of purification and slowing down – therefore, an art piece. The Trajectory of Movement by Stanislav Ondruš works as a reference to it.
The benefit of the space is also an outdoor terrace in the courtyard, where is a mobile sauna with sun loungers situated. The unknown combination thus creates a new relationship between the city and the neighbourhood. New vistas and new experiences.