Spa Building. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

Spa Building. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN
  • Architects: AIM Architecture
  • Location: Mianyang, Sichuan, China
  • Design Team: Wendy Saunders, Vincent de Graaf, German Roig, Leonardo Colluci, Allan Yin, Claudia Juhre, Zoe Zhu, June Deng, Andrew Irwin, Shelley Mock, Dongker, Liat Goldman, Toni Pavic, Ted Zhang, Jiaoyan
  • Area: 24000.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: DIRK WEIBLEN
  • Client: Onesun LTD
  • Collaborator Engineers: Hua Heng Institute
  • Contractor: Hui Yi Decoration & Design Co. Ltd, Yasha Industrial Park Development Co. Ltd

Spa Advocado Pool. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

Spa Advocado Pool. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

Text description provided by the architects. Fushengyu Hotspring Resort is located in the north of Sichuan at the foot of the Luo Fu Shan mountain range. Tree-capped mountains dotted with temples pleasantly surround the site. It is a place where water has shaped the land. Rivers have carved out the valley and water naturally springs from the earth in warm water wells. It is one of China’s traditional hot spring areas.


Spa Entrance. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

Spa Entrance. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

From the commencement of our project it was clear that this stunning scenery would be a strong influence on the design concept. Fushengyu Hotspring Resort has been a special project for our office, it has given us the rare opportunity to merge planning, architecture, landscape and interiors and the chance to shape a total concept based on the land, nature, and in this case, water.


Site Plan

Site Plan

The key attraction of the resort is an extensive spa with a wide range of different water experiences. This spa building wraps around a hill at the center of the site, overlooking the valley. The building’s shape and therefore the experience of the spa are informed by this hill. As you progress through the stages of bathing, you are offered differing views across the changing landscape.


Spa Building. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

Spa Building. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

Most of the pools are outdoors, offering a spectrum of experiences. We have sought to push the theme of water, to express its various forms. It is steam, ice, fish, herbs, salt, different concentrations of minerals. Some pools are still, others whirl, bubble, massage and so on. We have sought to make these conditions real, pure, and positioned carefully in the landscape to make this a completely escapist place.


Long Roof Pool. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

Long Roof Pool. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN



The building materials have been chosen for their closeness to nature. Many of the walls are made in clay mixed with pebbles, or stained timber. Central to our material palette is the River Stone. This locally sourced stone is a conglomerate of pebbles that have been shaped by the water over time.


Spa Pool. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

Spa Pool. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

Cutting it reveals pebbles of various shapes and sizes and a wealth of natural colors. This stone has been used in a plethora of ways across the resort. It defines many of our floors and pools. We have used them as seats in the pools and benchtops in the villas. We have cast it into the concrete roads and have made our water channels and landscape walls with the same local stone.


Spa Interior. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

Spa Interior. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

The site offers an architectural ensemble of buildings. Apart from the spa building there is a building we named MuWeCo, as it holds a small museum, a wedding hall and conference space. This building has a characteristic vault roof that makes its shape more like a big tent than a big building. It features a dramatic entrance lobby, and on the other side it opens up with a large deck on the valley, overlooking the spa and its surrounding park.


Muweco Building. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

Muweco Building. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

The guest accommodations are a number of different villas. These villas are different in form, while similar in materiality. They are sculptural timber-clad volumes that are designed to offer maximum contact with nature while maintaining the best possible privacy.


Villa. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

Villa. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

The interiors are contemporary and pure in the sense that materials are used in their natural form. The abundance of wood, cork, rugs makes them feel warm and comfortable. Much of the furniture was custom designed by us.


Villa Interior. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

Villa Interior. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

The relationship to the builders in this fairly remote location becomes very unique. A project like this requires a close relationship, they often have to build things that are new to them, and we on the other hand learn a lot from their local building methods.


Spa Interior Facade. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

Spa Interior Facade. Image © DIRK WEIBLEN

Fushengyu Hotspring Resort is a unique wellness and architecture experience in a magical place in the Chinese countryside. It has become a personal, hopefully sustainable and loveable place.

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