Eskisehir SPA & Thermal Hotel / Eskisehir
Architectural Project & Design:
Gokhan Avcioglu & GAD
Nesime Onel, Ertugrul Morcol, Carlos Valderama, Omer Karaer, Derya Arpac, Scott Baltimore, Elif Sahinoglu
Hospitality, Hotel, Interiors
Project Site Area:
2016 Pool Vision Middle East in the category Tourism and Leisure for "Eskisehir Spa & Thermal Hotel”
2015 WAF shortlisted
2013 Green GOOD DESIGN Award for Eskisehir Spa&Thermal Hotel project
2012 Highly Recommended Hotel Architecture for Eskisehir Spa & Thermal Hotel for Europe, International Hotel and Property Awards
The Eskisehir Hotel and Spa project by GAD is located in Eskisehir in the Western Anatolia geography of Turkey that has been the site of major civilisations since ancient times. It is specifically located in the Odunpazari region of Eskisehir in a forested hilltop area that is a center of tourism with its untouched historical building fabric and underground thermal spring water resources.
The architecture of the Eskisehir Hotel and Spa project by GAD was highly influenced and inspired by these thermal water resources. For years, local officials promoted the hot natural spring water baths for their health benefits. This resulted in a rapid increase in tourism that pointed to a need for quality accommodation for both Turkish and foreign tourists. The architecture in this way responded to the programmatic and environmental qualities of the site to produce a balance between the needs of visitors and the energy resources of the site. This was realized through a design that buried the main volume of the spa and wellness center below ground in order to benefit from the site’s geothermal features. Furthermore the roof of the underground structure created a natural insulation layer through a series of pools, pool decks and sun terrace with the domes placed in the pools working as roof-lights to allow natural daylight inside. The penetrating filtered light in the spa creates the illusion of a traditional hamam under a dome but also providesa variations in heat and cold for the bathing function of the interior. The micro-climates produced as a result of the embedded foundation and water elements were ideally organised around the different thermal bath types and pools of the interior. From hot baths to moderate temperature bathing pools the interior houses a collection of spaces with a variety spa and bathing functions.
The idea of the Eskisehir Spa & Thermal Hotel was conceived to use this natural resource to take advantage of the site’s geothermal features. The geothermal energy is not used only in the spas, but also for the space heating during cold seasons, via a geothermal heat pump system. The project further touches on sustainable aspects by making use of wind and solar energy.
The building exterior is a collection of circular forms clad in glass and natural timber reflecting the natural surroundings of its location in a pine forest. In this way the project is a modern interpretation of Odunpazari’s vernacular architecture and existing historical texture while providing innovative technical features to optimise internal conditions. The site plan is formed after a careful consideration of the existing trees’ positions in order to minimise alteration to the site.