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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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Saturday 12 June 2021 will mark the 10th annual Global Wellness Day (GWD) which will be celebrated with a 12-hour free virtual live stream in tandem with safe, public events and complimentary educational wellness offerings ... More
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Italian destination spa Preidlhof in South Tyrol is welcoming back guests with new retreats, signature rituals, specialist therapists and freshly renovated spa areas. Preidlhof has reopened following a COVID-19 lockdown and now offers 12 transformational ... 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.
MORE NEWS
Global Wellness Day 2021 will focus on protecting mental health and feature guest appearance from Deborah Szekely
Saturday 12 June 2021 will mark the 10th annual Global Wellness Day (GWD) which will be celebrated with a 12-hour free virtual live stream in tandem with safe, public events and complimentary educational wellness offerings around the world.
E77 to deliver €40m thermal wellbeing oasis nestled in Lithuanian forest
Global spa, hotel and wellness consultancy The E77 Company is realising a new thermal spa resort and hotel among a historic pine forest in Lithuania’s coastal region of Klaipėda, Lithuania.
Preidlhof reopens in Italy with refreshed wellness offering and spa updates
Italian destination spa Preidlhof in South Tyrol is welcoming back guests with new retreats, signature rituals, specialist therapists and freshly renovated spa areas.
Study: ISPA’s latest research shows signs of hope for US spa industry's recovery
The International Spa Association (ISPA) has revealed its annual five key spa industry financial indicators from its 2021 US Spa Industry Study – known as the Big Five – during its Stronger Together Summit.
Pampered pooches: Nobu's London hotel introduces bespoke spa robes for dogs
Luxury linen supplier Tielle Love Luxury wants to get tails wagging with the launch of its first luxury bathrobe created exclusively for dogs.
How can spas reimagine the future? Asks ISPA keynote Seth Mattison
COVID-19 has presented our industry with a chance to reinvent itself, said thought leader Seth Mattison at ISPA's Stronger Together Summit.
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