Harmony in Contrast. Architecture, Wellness, and the Art of Balance: Exploring Active and Passive Spaces through Materiality and Light

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Virginia Tech


In today's rapidly urbanized world, this paper expores the urgent need to reclaim tranquility and practice wellness through Architecture. Emphasizing the significance of reimagining communal spa experiences as sanctuaries for nurturing well-being and fostering genuine connections, it focuses on the symbiotic relationship between light and architecture. The thesis focuses on the therapeutic characteristics of light and space as it takes inspiration fromthe ancient Roman Bath, highlighting the calming effects of water features and mood-altering properties of light. Recognizing light as essential for survival and integral to our daily lives, the project seeks to harness its potential alongside water to create harmonious sensory experiences.

In an endeavor to revive communal bonds and elevate collective wellness, this project embarks on a journey of contrast, juxtaposing light and water within spa design. Acknowledging the properties of light that play an indispensable role in human survival and its profound influence on our circadian rhythm, the project strategically integrates diverse lighting techniques. From natural daylight streaming through strategically positioned apertures to carefully curated artificial illumination, every aspect is orchestrated to evoke specific moods and enhance the sensory journey. Complementing this interplay of light, water features are strategically incorporated within the project. These elements are not merely aesthetic additions but are imbued with therapeutic properties, providing avenues for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Through this integration of light and water, the spa becomes a canvas where contrasts converge, offering visitors a multifaceted experience that stimulates the senses and nurtures well-being. The juxtaposition of light and shadow, stillness and movement, creates dynamic spaces that encourage contemplation and connection. As individuals immerse themselves in this harmonious environment, they are invited to rediscover a sense of unity with their surroundings and with each other. Thus, the restoration of communal bonds and the enhancement of collective wellness emerge as inherent outcomes of this deliberate synthesis of contrasts within spa design.



Light, Wellness, Contrast