The Fichtel Mountains in Germany recently gained an interesting attraction: the Siebenquell GesundZeitResort has opened a modern spa and wellness landscape with a connected hotel in the little town of Weißenstadt on the edge of the Fichtel Mountains in the region of Franconia. Its investors harmoniously combined the history of spa culture and the traditions of the region with timeless modern architecture and energy-efficient technology.
A stimulating combination
The Siebenquell GesundZeitResort is worth a detailed look not only due to its impressive dimensions and large variety of offers. The most important basic data at a glance: An investment of around 60 million Euro, about 100,000 square meters total surface area and more than 70,000 square meters spa landscape with around 1,500 square meters water surface.
Added to that are a four-star superior hotel with 125 rooms and 225 beds directly adjoining the spa and wellness landscape as well as modern conference and seminar rooms and a training kitchen for prevention classes and health-promoting measures on the subject of nutrition.
An even more interesting aspect of this project is the emphasis on certain themes that sends the guests on an exciting journey through time that even has its own name – "GesundZeitReise" (which can be roughly translated as "health time journey").
Spanning the time from 1250 BC to the modern age, visitors of the Siebenquell can experience different subject areas that cover a vast variety of therapies, applications and installations that humans have used for millennia to improve their health and well-being. These include, for example, a sand-light bath with comfortable, warm sand or a mineral flotation pool, in which one can float and relax as if one were drifting in the Dead Sea.
For the GesundZeitResort, KLAFS planned and realised an Oriental hammam, an Oriental mud bath, an infrared room with four InfraPlus-seats, and a snow paradise in which the guests can cool off with fine powder snow after a sauna or steam bath as well as seven themed saunas (three outdoors and four indoors), in which the most important traditional crafts of the region are brought back to life.
For example, the blacksmith's sauna – an homage to the heyday of nail forgery in Weißenstadt – features an anvil and historic forging tools, while in the wood workshop, historic wooden wheels and blocks as well as saw blades give guests a lasting impression of this particular craft. In the beer sauna, historic wooden beer barrels serve as reminders of the good old days, and the miners' sauna in turn allows guests to take an imaginary journey back to the 16th to 18th century, when residents of Weißenstadt dug for rock crystal in mines deep underground.
These are rather unusual tasks for the experts of the market leader for sauna, pools and spas. "We obtained the historic decoration elements for this project from numerous unconventional sources, for example the Heimatmuseum in Wackershofen or a show smith in Langenburg. Even apart from that, this project was quite a challenge for the individual technical departments at KLAFS," Michael Bauer, Key Account Manager at KLAFS, recalls about this extraordinary project.
For example, the investors requested a special attraction for the acrylic steam bath in the adjoining swimming area. Together, they came up with the idea of a water-spewing geyser, which KLAFS developed and realised for this project.
KLAFS oversaw the comprehensive planning and turnkey construction of the log cabin-style sauna houses. Even during the procurement of the bread ovens of the bakery sauna that are accessible from the vestibule and from within the sauna, the KLAFS team supported the investors in word and deed.
Despite this multitude of unusual challenges, KLAFS succeeded in concluding all work in just four months instead of the originally planned construction time of six months.
The history of the region was not just a thematic inspiration for the GesundZeitResort, but was also decisive in the selection of materials. For example, the specific type of granite used in the Fichtel Mountains was used in the construction.
The gemstone manufacturer-themed granite steam bath is fitted with this regional granite, in various stages of finish – from its natural rough state in the foot area to a high polish on the seating areas. This is an homage to the art of stone cutting and grinding, because the Weißenstadt native Erhard Ackermann is deemed to be a founder of industrial granite finishing in Germany. As an interesting optical detail, large, rough-hewn granite blocks are arranged in the middle of the cabin.
Even if the theme-based saunas have become very individual in the end, their basic construction is still based on the commercially available standard cabins from KLAFS, indicating a very interesting relationship between external effect and cost of acquisition.
As can be expected from KLAFS, the cabins are also equipped with numerous unique technical solutions so that operating costs can be delightfully low. In all saunas, so-called EcoPlus thermal ceilings ensure that the heat remains in the cabin for much longer than in conventional ceiling constructions. The climate manager regulates the supply of fresh air to the actually required volume via a ventilator – because too much ventilation also means high energy costs.
When it comes to safety, the sauna cabins are also state of the art: they are all equipped with the patented Keyguard system. This means that the supervisory staff at the saunas can only start the heating process of the sauna oven after a visual inspection by turning a key on site. All sauna controls are VDE-certified and feature two redundant, independent security systems for temperature monitoring to ensure a safe switch-off once certain defined temperature limits have been exceeded.
The steam bath also features the integrated Green Steam package, which noticeably reduces energy consumption. Using two special technologies, Steamix and Optisteam, the steam is mixed with fresh air and fragrances in an ideal ratio and distributed through the cabin. Together with a sophisticated exhaust system, these technologies ensure that the use of energy and the generation of steam are optimised.