Given the special requirements of the new Balaruc-les-Bains thermal spa, on France’s Mediterranean coast, the project designers opted for the technical resistance and low porosity of Urbatek high-performance tiles for the building’s façade.
Architects’ studios DHA (Lyon) and AMG (Montpellier) were commissioned with this project, aimed at unifying the centre’s different services and facilities by housing them all in the same place for the comfort and convenience of its users. With a design inspired by maritime settings, the building envelope evokes the hull of a big ship, moored on the shore of Thau lagoon.
To achieve this appearance, the upper part of the Butech ventilated façade (a company that also belongs to PORCELANOSA Grupo) was clad in through-body porcelain tiles by Urbatek. More specifically, 2,100 m2 of large-format Pure White porcelain tiles were used, fitting in to perfection with the building’s curves and oblique lines. In contrast, the transparency and luminosity of big glass-clad walls was sought for the lower floors, providing users with breathtaking views of the lagoon as they enjoy the centre’s spa treatments and thermal waters.
Using URBATEK high-performance tiles in ventilated façade systems substantially improves a building’s energy efficiency, since the building envelope acts as a thermal insulator, reducing the amount of energy needed to heat or cool the building.URBATEK tiles are also a perfect choice as cladding on façades, since their low porosity guarantees a high resistance to damp and changes in temperature.
Balaruc-les-Bains thermal spa is considered to be the finest spa on the whole of the Mediterranean coast, since its waters have been used for therapeutic purposes since the times of Roman Gaul. The 16,800m2 spa centre is visited by over 46,000 people each year on stays conceived to help them chill out and recharge their batteries. To ensure users’ wellbeing, the building is equipped with 350 treatment booths, five pools and a wellness area.