Therme Vals by Peter Zumthor is hailed by many as a wonder to behold in the architectural world. As architecture students, the more you see it, the more you hear about it, and the more you investigate its details, the more you drool.
But its future is, at current, uncertain. The real world has caught up the spa full of ethereal shadowed spaces. Finance and management issues have crumbled the very foundations of what makes this piece of contemporary architecture from becoming an abandoned rock in the landscape. Peter Zumthor, who has fought very hard for this project to go ahead in the first place is now taking matters back into his own hands, trying to strike a balance between financier and the culture of Vals.
It is fantastic to see a creative practitioner care so much for his own brain child. Architecture to an architect is as a painting is to an artist - it is an extension of oneself - at least for those creative products which are made with not only effort, but instinctive creation. Those are the ones worth protecting and are the best of the practice, in my opinion.
I can only hope the Therme Vals will not be gone or lessened before I visit it! It unites two passions for me: architecture and a good soaking in a spa.
For a detailed video report about the current dilemma of the Therme Vals, visit Swiss Info