The project is located in a dunal enviroment in the Mornington Peninsula, formed over thousands of years by wind and water resulting in a softly flowing and gently rhythmic landscape of protection and intimacy.
Teatree is recolonising the former pasture while thousands of planted casuarinas and banksias have begun to restore the area to its ancient character from the times when the shifting sands stabilized.
Coming up from the depths of the earth (geothermal aquifer) to feed the pools or collected rainfall from the roofs of the buildings (to fill the lakes), water is the unifying living thread for the whole site.
On arrival, a serpentine path winds through the dappled shade of dense Teatree along the edge of the carpark to an entry ramp and an elevated covered and screened timber walkway with changing vignettes of intimate corners and the wider landscape. This timber walkway takes visitors to reception -a light-filled space with small retail corner, arcing out into the landscape; here a generous stair connects a quiet intermediate-level relaxation room with the lower foyer- a grotto-like space with stone floor and footbaths and shelters. Inside, access is gained to the main change rooms and out to the northern public bathing areas.
Materials are warm timbers and stained ply with colours resonating with the mood of the landscape and nature. In the change rooms these materials are complemented by ceramic tiles along with small and precious inserts of more sumptouous woods, tiles and metals. Natural light is carefully modulated for contrast, mood and view.
With the purpose of the venue being a refuge for relaxation and rejuvenation, the architectural intention is to support this by creating a harmonious and enchanting conversation between the landscape, water and the buildings, which immerses the bather in a sensuous healing totality of body, mind and spirit.
Timber in its rich and living variety is a key intermediary here.