LocationPärnu, Pärnu County, Estonia
Architect in ChargeTarmo Teedumäe, Paco Ulman, Inga Raukas
CollaboratorsNiina Mäger, Helle-Triin Hansumäe
InteriorsVaikla Stuudio OÜ. Tüüne-Kristin Vaikla, Urmo Vaikla
Text description provided by the architects. Headline
The reconstruction of the historical mud baths building in the beach area of Pärnu into a modern spa and the addition of a hotel and restaurant along the beach promenade.
The historical mud baths building is a neo-classical structure completed in 1927. Today, the historical mud baths building, which is situated by the sea and facing the city, has become one of the most important symbolic buildings in Pärnu.
The complicated goal of the project was to suitably combine the existing historical monument with a new extension. The latter was expected to have a contemporary design, give due consideration to the surrounding park landscape and enliven the adjacent area.
The historical building houses a day spa with pools, a quiet spa, body treatment rooms, a health centre and 4 hotel rooms. The extension added on the sea-facing façade houses a restaurant, reception area and conference room on the ground floor and 68 hotel rooms on the first and second floors.
The solution for the restoration of the historical mud baths building served the aim of preserving, restoring and showcasing the valuable spaces and details as much as possible. The new functions which essentially remain activities to provide modern body treatment services of the historical spaces adapt to the building. The points of contact between the old and the new building were kept as delicate as possible.
The open public spaces of the extension along the beach promenade introduce an important transformation by bringing life to an area that had so far been rather deserted. With a setback at street level, the new building leaves room for a restaurant terrace and a green space running along and opening onto the beach promenade towards the southwest.
In general terms, the basic principle of the architectural treatment rests on allowing the existing old and the added new building to stand apart. The result is a closed block, which follows the general planning principle of the multi-stage development scheme for the completion of the mud baths complex with courtyards proposed by the city architect Olev Siinmaa in the 1930s. The new volume facing the sea engages with the bright modernist buildings that are generally characteristic of the beach area in Pärnu.
The extension divides into an open ground floor, which is finished in dark colours and two more private storeys with hotel rooms which are finished in bright colours.
The orientation of all hotel rooms opens up views onto the surrounding beach and park landscape. At 4 metres wide, the hotel rooms are spacious and each room has a balcony. The balconies form a continuous outer layer along the entire external perimeter of the building. One side of all balconies is stretched outward, creating a deeper balcony space on that side and resulting in a folded surface treatment that lends character to the overall appearance of the building. Vertical aluminium slats add privacy to the balconies, covering them from side view and articulating the folded form of the volume.
In the historical building, an attempt has been made to preserve as much as possible the original layout of rooms, finishing of the surfaces and architectural details.
The covered balconies of the extension block direct sunlight from reaching the hotel rooms during the summer season, reducing cooling costs.
The building volume is compact, without significant protrusions, and the surface area of the outer shell of the building has been kept as small as possible. This allows for reduced heat loss through the external perimeter during cold seasons.