The Glacier Hot Pools sit in an ancient alpine rainforest on the edge of Franz Josef township, at the foot of the Glacier. The pools are fed with pure glacial water and the bather is surrounded by the forest close enough to touch.
The original brief was to create a commercial pool operation set intimately within this remote rain forest environment.
Further client needs and objectives for the project were:
- Respect the site context and embrace the uniqueness of the site.
- Minimise the environmental impact: “touch the ground lightly” and leave as much of the environment as possible as is.
- A functional layout for the pools and facilities.
Our first step was to have all trees surveyed, and have them catalogued by an arborist. Then we carefully inserted and intertwined the built forms within these.
All buildings, pools and, private pool cabanas needed to be made off site due to remoteness, labour costs, accommodation costs, rainfall, and sensitivity of the site. We then positioned these items between the trees.
We have nestled the building in the forest to allow it to be discovered amongst the trees. We have found the building difficult to photograph, and on reflection, we are very pleased about this as it means the building is truly integrated into the forest.