Architecture |

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The modern building of the KärntenTherme spa is linked both conceptually and structurally with its ‘sister building’, the Thermenhotel Karawankenhof and impresses with its fascinating design, bright colour accents, vertical lines and big windows. The unique concept: a thermal spa which extends upwards rather than outwards.

A vertically structured world of experience – a place to look, try out and admire.

The team of architects, led by architect Titus Pernthaler from Graz, was responsible for the spectacular construction of both buildings. “The architecture comprises natural quotes from the Warmbad environment,” Pernthaler explains. “Preserving the regional identity and creating a link with the surrounding landscape and local Dobratsch mountain was the aim of the concept from the outset”. The theme of the design is characterised by transparency and the recreation of a rugged rock effect.

The structure seems to defy the laws of physics. Projecting elements cut through the space, offering some surprising views and perspectives in every corner and at every end. The sensational sports pool which extends across the second level creates a whole new sense of space.

The various areas open up to spa guests automatically. The structuring of the spa into different levels goes hand-in-hand with its concepts of experience, wellness and fitness. Unlike other thermal spas. Functionally impressive. Impossible to overlook. And with the advantage that the entire thermal spa area offers disabled access.

The KärntenTherme spa is characterised by its open light-flooded rooms, spacious levels, transparency and links to the outside, not forgetting the corridor connecting the spa to the Thermenhotel Karawankenhof in which dressing gowns can be worn. The hotel and thermal spa form an architectural whole and are directly connected by a corridor which ends with a slide tower.


The inside of the spa area is dotted with images, sculptures and photo montages by various renowned artists and photographers such as Hans Staudacher, Fritz Russ, Kiki Kogelnik, Detlef Löffler, Herwig Steiner and others which tie in with the overall architectural concept.

The historic ‘Warmbad Villach’ became the modern ‘KÄRNTEN THERME’ spa. The metamorphosis of this significant resort is reflected in the architecture, theme and experiences offered by the new ‘baths’. Strong elements of the internal and external architecture stand out against the fascinating natural backdrop of the rocks and water. “The façade is intended to be reminiscent of the rippled surface of water” and the façade on the garden side resembles a rugged landscape structure. The ‘gorge’ and ‘Jacob’s ladder’ as elements of the interior architecture represent particularly striking vertical room features.

The main themes underpinning the decorative furnishing of the thermal spa have been defined as ‘Dobratsch and the history of Warmbad’ to reflect the authentic ties with the resort and its history. The design elements are based on the stories, legends, records, geology, materials, colours, flora and fauna of Dobratsch.

Download art concept (only available in German)

"Studenza" one of the six thermal sources in Warmbad-Villach