April 18, 2013
This project won the 2013 Architizer A+ Jury Award and Popular Choice Award in the Health Care + Aging category. See the full list of winners here.
A lackluster pool is like a bad cheesecake. If it fails to supply delight and escape, its existence just seems pointless. The Hotel Castell dels Hams, on the Spanish island of Majorca, had a pool problem. Though it was housed in a glass and aluminum shell, “the pool was dark and thermally worked quite badly with a lot of heat loss through this enclosure,” writes architect Cristian Santandreu, whose firm Estudio A2arquitectos revamped the swimming situation—and added an adjacent spa—in 2011. The architects’ splashy new design wowed our A+ judges and our readers, garnering both the jury prize and the popular vote in the Health Care + Aging category of the A+ Awards.
The pool’s new wrapper is punctured with square windows and skylights on three sides (plus the roof). With all that light bouncing off the water and the pool floor, guests get a hint of topsy-turviness, as though they are swimming on the ceiling. Meanwhile, the really committed sunbathers can try for a geometric suntan! Read more.