Duravit featured in the Aqua Aurelia Hotel, Baden-Baden

Posted on August 21 2010, Bathroom Design

Baden-Baden has been a well-known world famous spa town and an exclusive wellness oasis since Roman times. The hot springs of Baden-Baden’s bathing quarter is the centre of a spa culture, and the Aqua Aurelia Suite Hotel offer the guest a very personal hideaway from everyday life.

New building in prominent surroundings
The name of the new Suite Hotel is reminiscent of the “Aquae Aureliae”, the settlement that stood there during the time of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antonius, who ordered the expansion of the luxurious bathing facilities at the start of the 3rd century AD. Constructed on historical ground, the façade of the new hotel building with its classical tones makes reference to the historical backdrop, the neighbouring dome of the Friedrichsbad and the Neue Schloss, the former residence of the Margraves of Baden. The carefully designed building slips discreetly into the highly traditional surroundings. With a state-of-the-art conference area and direct access to the bathing and sauna landscape of the Caracalla Spa and the wellness lounge opened in 2009, the residence offers wellness and conference guests alike luxurious accommodation in one of its 47 suites.

The suites open onto balconies and terraces offering views of the picturesque old town and Baden-Baden’s parks. The splendid backdrop can also be enjoyed from within the “Aqua Aurelia” from the large picture windows. Architect Rainer Bender who, as one of the owners of the hotel, was also responsible for the entire planning and construction management.

The concept flourishes…
In each of the large suites, ranging in size from 34 to 65 square metres – not to mention the Presidential Suite with a resounding 185 square metres – the guest luxuriates in fully-air conditioned and spacious rooms that are flooded in light. Every detail speaks of luxury. With a variety of creative ideas, Bender has realised his key planning vision, namely to evoke the magic of the Roman past in conjunction with modern extravagance. How did he do this?

Reminiscences of the Roman past
“The materials play a key role”, says the architect. Only authentic materials have been used – natural stone, mineral glazes, Murano glass tiles, natural wood parquet flooring. The form of the unusual chairs is reminiscent of Roman klines, which were used for dining whilst reclining. The selection of colours, namely warm tones with a high percentage of red and yellow, is also reminiscent of ancient Rome and its legendary frescoes.

The bathrooms in the suites also pay impressive homage to the Roman past; all have different designs with incredibly luxurious furnishings and dimensions. Details such as white mosaic tiles or gold-leaf inserts are inspired by the ancient art of mosaic. The design of the snail shower is a more subtle expression of Bender’s return to the origins. The use of this open, organic shower form in some of the bathrooms goes hand in hand with a deliberate renunciation of hinges and modern glass partitions.

Return to authenticity
Particularly in the bathroom where the element water is at home, it was important for the architecture to create a coherent archaic and yet extravagant impression. Duravit products were chosen for the sanitary ceramics. Various ranges from the Duravit range make their own contribution to the exquisite bathroom furnishings in “Aqua Aurelia”; also ensuring a sophisticated design in barrier-free bathrooms.

In some of the bathrooms, the theme of authenticity is used in the large, natural-stone countertops in the washing area. The water flows in a natural stream from the taps into the surface-mounted “washing bowls”. It’s not surprising that the ideas of Philippe Starck also come into their own in the bathroom world created by Rainer Bender; in the console basin from the Edition Starck 1. However, Starck’s creations are also shaped by the encounter with the authentic, the elementary. They clearly communicate this back-to-the-roots philosophy, namely the respect for the element water, the return to archaic form, the reinterpretation of original forms such as the bathing bucket and Starck’s playful interpretation of these. The observer is reminded of Roman times; the magic of the Romans has returned.




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