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Baca Architects submits scheme for floating eco-wellness sanctuary and spa
By Megan Whitby 25 Feb 2021
The vision for the UK-based destination is to create an immersive natural retreat offering a waterside wellness sanctuary
Baca Architects has submitted a scheme to transform an unused UK quarry lake and surrounding land into a unique eco-wellness resort centred on waterside living and water-based recreation.

The 80-hectare Ashwicken Lake site is situated in East Anglia and combines woodlands and wetlands with a one km square lake at its centre. A £35m (US$49.4m, €40,7m) investment by developer Norfolk Farm Leisure would see the site reimagined as a destination for staycations and day trips where outstanding architectural elements will be elegantly blended with a tranquil natural landscape.

The destination is being conceptualised to guide guests on a journey of reconnection with nature, ecological diversity and wellbeing.

At its heart, the resort will feature the UK’s first floating clubhouse complete with a luxury spa and swimming pool, encircled by 132 contemporary lodges all located on or near the water’s edge, and each with a mooring.

These lodges will be arranged in clusters, interspersed with new planting, trees, follies and water taxi jetties to create character across the resort.

In addition, there will be 22 treehouses nestled in the woodlands.

Distinctively designed, the clubhouse will also house a café and restaurant, lakeside pool facilities and alfresco waterside dining.

A range of water-based pursuits will be available for visitors, including rowing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding as well as opportunities for open water swimming.

For those preferring to stay on land, tennis courts and areas for ball games and archery have also been designed into the landscape along with a climbing wall and children’s play area.

All facilities will be open to both staying guests and local people.

Furthermore, in a resort that will exemplify innovative design and sensitive regeneration, a floating island of 40-flatted units will be located to one corner of the lake, its design inspired by the water lilies whose large leaves float serenely on the water surface.

The proposals target zero-carbon both in use and production, employing materials of low-bodied energy, high levels of thermal insulation and building airtightness, natural ventilation and offsite prefabrication as well as on-site energy generation and waste treatment.

The sourcing and durability of the materials used, potential for recycling and the distance to site were all considered within the design.

Richard Coutts, Principal of Baca Architects, said: “People have always been attracted to water for relaxation, exercise and rejuvenation.

“At Ashwicken Lake, these life-enhancing qualities will be supported by a design that will reinforce the engagement of both guests and visitors in an exceptional experience. This will be a resort where you can be as social or secluded as you like; a resort for all generations.”

Space is allocated on the site for a solar array and the lake will be utilised as a source of renewable energy.

Areas of nature conservation will deliver a biodiversity net gain and the entire site will be a car-free environment with a focus on walking, cycling and transport by electric water taxis.


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21 Apr 2021
Located on an ancient hilltop in a private eight-hectare park in Italy, Palazzo Fiuggi Wellness Medical Retreat will open in May 2021. The new concept is the vision of Lorenzo Giannuzzi, Palazzo Fiuggi founder and ... More
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The Sustainable Spa Association (SSA) has partnered with sustainability specialist Stephanie Hodgson from MeettheFiveR’s to help global spas understand the importance of a circular economy. The #SpaWasteNotChallenge campaign brief focuses on helping spas find a ... More
19 Apr 2021
A new report by McKinsey & Company reveals insights into shifting consumer attitudes and behaviour towards wellness across the globe. The Future of Wellness Survey surveyed 7,500 consumers in Brazil, China, Germany, the US and ... More
20 Apr 2021
Holistic medical wellness resort The Farm at San Benito has launched new retreats at its tropical eco-retreat in the Philippines to target pain and mental health concerns. Situated amongst 48 hectares of lush green jungle ... More
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Global wellbeing organisation Therme Group has become a strategic investor in experiental art company Superblue. The investment has been made through the group's Therme Art arm and will see the group provide expertise and resources ... More
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In August 2021, an authentic Middle Eastern retreat named Zoya Wellbeing & Health Resort Zoya at Al Zorah ​will open in Ajman, UAE, developed and operated by Premedion ; an international spa consultancy and management ... More
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Global art collective teamLab has combined art and sauna to offer an immersive exhibition in Roppongi, Tokyo, called teamLab & TikTok, teamLab Reconnect: Art with Rinkan Sauna Roppongi. Running until the end of August 2021, ... More
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US-based beauty and wellness training institute Bellus Academy is seeking to advance skincare and spa education by launching new CBD wellness training, with guidance from leading industry trainer and Bellus Academy’s own director of spa ... More
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GM of Miraval Austin, Anthony Duggan, has been appointed area vice president of Miraval Group and its three award-winning wellness resorts – Miraval Arizona, Miraval Austin and Miraval Berkshires. In his new role, Duggan will ... More
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Relais & Chateaux's Summer Lodge Country House Hotel ​in Dorset, England, has launched an insightful masterclass to inspire guests about the benefits of fermentation. Fermentation describes the transformative action of microorganisms on other molecules and ... More
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The International Spa Association (ISPA) has named 12 winners of the 2021 ISPA Innovate Awards. This year’s awards highlighted solutions and innovations implemented specifically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in three categories: business practices, ... More
     
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NEWS
Baca Architects submits scheme for floating eco-wellness sanctuary and spa
POSTED 25 Feb 2021 . BY Megan Whitby
The vision for the UK-based destination is to create an immersive natural retreat offering a waterside wellness sanctuary
This will be a resort where you can be as social or secluded as you like; a retreat for all generations
– Richard Coutts
Baca Architects has submitted a scheme to transform an unused UK quarry lake and surrounding land into a unique eco-wellness resort centred on waterside living and water-based recreation.

The 80-hectare Ashwicken Lake site is situated in East Anglia and combines woodlands and wetlands with a one km square lake at its centre. A £35m (US$49.4m, €40,7m) investment by developer Norfolk Farm Leisure would see the site reimagined as a destination for staycations and day trips where outstanding architectural elements will be elegantly blended with a tranquil natural landscape.

The destination is being conceptualised to guide guests on a journey of reconnection with nature, ecological diversity and wellbeing.

At its heart, the resort will feature the UK’s first floating clubhouse complete with a luxury spa and swimming pool, encircled by 132 contemporary lodges all located on or near the water’s edge, and each with a mooring.

These lodges will be arranged in clusters, interspersed with new planting, trees, follies and water taxi jetties to create character across the resort.

In addition, there will be 22 treehouses nestled in the woodlands.

Distinctively designed, the clubhouse will also house a café and restaurant, lakeside pool facilities and alfresco waterside dining.

A range of water-based pursuits will be available for visitors, including rowing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding as well as opportunities for open water swimming.

For those preferring to stay on land, tennis courts and areas for ball games and archery have also been designed into the landscape along with a climbing wall and children’s play area.

All facilities will be open to both staying guests and local people.

Furthermore, in a resort that will exemplify innovative design and sensitive regeneration, a floating island of 40-flatted units will be located to one corner of the lake, its design inspired by the water lilies whose large leaves float serenely on the water surface.

The proposals target zero-carbon both in use and production, employing materials of low-bodied energy, high levels of thermal insulation and building airtightness, natural ventilation and offsite prefabrication as well as on-site energy generation and waste treatment.

The sourcing and durability of the materials used, potential for recycling and the distance to site were all considered within the design.

Richard Coutts, Principal of Baca Architects, said: “People have always been attracted to water for relaxation, exercise and rejuvenation.

“At Ashwicken Lake, these life-enhancing qualities will be supported by a design that will reinforce the engagement of both guests and visitors in an exceptional experience. This will be a resort where you can be as social or secluded as you like; a resort for all generations.”

Space is allocated on the site for a solar array and the lake will be utilised as a source of renewable energy.

Areas of nature conservation will deliver a biodiversity net gain and the entire site will be a car-free environment with a focus on walking, cycling and transport by electric water taxis.
RELATED STORIES
‘Peninsula of tranquility’: Baca Architects to design spa and hotel with floating lodges in new UK eco resort


Baca Architects has secured planning permission on behalf of Rothgen Group for a £25m hotel and spa in South Yorkshire, England, to be operated by Campbell Gray Hotels.
Plans for floating eco-resort and spa in Yorkshire given the go-ahead


Municipal officials have greenlit plans to build Tyram Lakes – an eco-friendly wellness resort in South Yorkshire, UK.
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Vast medi-wellness retreat to open in leafy Italian countryside backed by Forte Village CEO
Located on an ancient hilltop in a private eight-hectare park in Italy, Palazzo Fiuggi Wellness Medical Retreat will open in May 2021.
SSA launches #SpaWasteNotChallenge to inspire global spa teams to embrace sustainability
The Sustainable Spa Association (SSA) has partnered with sustainability specialist Stephanie Hodgson from MeettheFiveR’s to help global spas understand the importance of a circular economy.
The future of wellness: New report investigates changing consumer attitudes and behaviour in wellness market
A new report by McKinsey & Company reveals insights into shifting consumer attitudes and behaviour towards wellness across the globe.
The Farm at San Benito curates mental health and pain management programmes
Holistic medical wellness resort The Farm at San Benito has launched new retreats at its tropical eco-retreat in the Philippines to target pain and mental health concerns.
Therme Group invests in experiential art company Superblue
Global wellbeing organisation Therme Group has become a strategic investor in experiental art company Superblue.
Premedion to open integrative health and wellbeing retreat in Middle Eastern wildlife oasis
In August 2021, an authentic Middle Eastern retreat named Zoya Wellbeing & Health Resort Zoya at Al Zorah will open in Ajman, UAE, developed and operated by Premedion; an international spa consultancy and management company with expertise in wellbeing, fitness and health.
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