Thermae Bath Spa

Bath, United Kingdom



Edmund Sumner


Award of Merit, IALD Awards, 2008
Leisure and Retail

Architecture + Environment

Opened in 2006, Britain’s only natural thermal spa offers traditional and state-of-the-art facilities housed in a combination of new and sensitively restored historic buildings.

Our lighting design helps to knit together the old with the new in a cohesive composition, enhancing the character and public enjoyment of each of the spaces.

The glazed facade of the New Royal Bath presented us with a challenge: how to make a positive contribution to the nightscape without impacting on the local environment? By concealing sources and controlling brightness to minimise light spill we were able to achieve a subtle yet beautiful effect that is sensitive to the residents needs.

Inside, we explored the interaction of light with the materials and textures. Indirect light reflects on the frosted glass panels of the stone cube creating a soft glow, while the concrete columns are uplit through the water to create ripples of light on its underside. Gobo projectors create texture on the pool surround.

In the steam room, the waterfall shower features a colour-change fibre optic system that infuses the water mist with coloured light.

The rooftop pool is a magical experience. Lit with underwater LEDs, bathers are able to soak up the dramatic night views across the city while soaking themselves.

The Cross Bath is an intimate open-air thermal bath housed in a separate building, where the lighting has been kept deliberately discreet. The entrance is framed by columns in silhouette. Glowing curved stone walls and glazed screens, uplit from floor-recessed fibre-optic heads with underwater pool lights, create an inviting impression.

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