Affordable, social, and accessible wellness is coming to a city near you

For centuries, the cleansing and healing power of water and heat has been harnessed to bring city dwellers together in the common pursuit of cleanliness. Early public bathhouses were fueled by mineral-rich waters warmed from the earth’s core, which bubbled up and not only cleansed, but also worked wonders on skin conditions and seemed to relieve pain and encourage rest and relaxation. Bathing in natural waters was referred to as “taking the cure,” and different waters were sought, depending on the type of “cure” needed. 
As far back as the 7th century B.C., in Chinese history books, there are mentions of a “spring which contains sulfur to treat disease.” In Europe, buildings were often constructed around or on top of natural hot springs, like the famous, historical Bath Spa in England, UK, which was visited by Queen Anne in 1702 in an attempt to cure her persistent gout. Though the “cure” may have failed, her visit served to make Bath a celebrated destination for years.  


The Trends in the News

Relaxing Bath Rituals Have Been Quietly Healing For Centuries– The Zoe Report, February 2022

A revival in the appreciation of bathing rituals from cultures all over the world – from Finnish saunas to Japanese onsens to Turkish hammams to Aztec sweat lodges  – is fueling the urban bathhouse trend.trend.  

Luxury urban spa to open in Oslo with restored public baths, rooftop sauna and Nordic wellness rituals
Spa Business, November 2021

Nordic Hotels & Resorts is restoring Vestkantbadet, one of Oslo’s last remaining public baths, to its former glory and growing it into an 8,000-square-foot subterranean urban wellness retreat.

Governors Island's new luxurious wellness spa has an official opening date!– TimeOut, February 2022

QC Terme invested more than $50 million in QC NY, the company’s first North American destination. The opening has suffered from COVID delays, but is set for spring 2022.  

This new Nordic spa promises an authentic Finnish sauna experience in Ontario — and a social scene Toronto Star June 2021

Designed to evoke a European village, Vettä (Finnish for “water”) has a bright, light and open Scandinavian aesthetic, featuring several outdoor warm and cold plunge pools for hydrotherapy and multiple saunas, including an event sauna with capacity for more than 80 people. 

Spaces to Relax: Spas, Saunas, Baths and Pools– ArchDaily, February 2022

Big cities and the troubled routine of urban life increasingly reveal the need for moments of relaxation aimed at physical and mental health. Enjoy a slideshow of some of the most interesting architectural efforts in this space.

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