Location: Eyjafjörður, Iceland
Year: 2020 - 2021
Program: Geothermal bathing facility
The Forest Lagoon Geothermal Spa sits in a forested area, Vaðlaskógur, opposite Akureyri at the foothill of Vaðlaheiði mountain. The water source was discovered by accident in the Vaðlaheiði tunnel construction in 2014. In 2022 the water was redirected to the Forest Lagoon, making the most of this valuable natural resource in an environmentally, socially and financially sustainable way.
The idea of striking a balance with the surroundings is very important in the Forest Lagoon. Being there should be a hybrid experience of geothermal- and forest-bathing.
The Forest Lagoon journey begins at sea level. Guests walk up a path through the forest and the building slowly reveals itself as part of the forested landscape. The front half of the building is made of CLT wood, has wood furnishings, and features an open-roofed lightwell with a tree as you enter. The back of the building is made from pre-cast concrete, hugging the rocks from the mountain, which guests walk past as they go through the changing rooms and enter the water.
Water continually flows through the baths and cascades over a 70-meter infinity edge. The main pool is divided into a larger bath with two swim-up bars, and a smaller raised bath at the south end. A cold pool has been built into the side of the cliff , where naturally cool water trickles in from the hillside creeks.
Architecture design: Basalt Architects
Design team: Ari Þorleifsson, Dagbjört Ásta Jónsdóttir, Hrólfur Karl Cela, Marcos Zotes, Perla Dís Kristinsdóttir, Rut Sigurmonsdóttir, Sigríður Sigþórsdóttir