Anarchitect’s Brutalist inspired design for an Air Health retreat compliments its rugged location in the Balkan Mountains. 

What was once old often becomes new. The beauty in design’s cyclic nature is implicit in the permission it gives a new generations of creatives to explore concepts past. Updating them with new thinking, applying contemporary context, and eviscerating the most relevant design codes from an iconic period requires a studied-eye and empathy.

Brutalism emerged in the 1950s and peaked in the mid-1970s. In recent years this once divisive architectural style is experiencing renewed appreciation.

For their South Serbian ‘air health’ retreat, Dubai and London based Anarchitect’s proposal marries research with restraint, layering historic context and function with a design period that lends itself to the brief quite naturally.

Minimalist, raw and with a strong, deliberate form expressed through concrete, the high altitude climate resort derives its design cues from the styles prevalent in a socialist, post-World War II Eastern Europe when ‘Air Spas’ were built for medicinal purposes.

''These past few months have highlighted the importance of integrating nature into our lifestyle design. The 'New Luxury' demands for more contextual, of-place projects, and spaces that bring about authentic experiences and positive impact on our health and wellbeing. The concept for the Air Spa is influenced by the country's underexplored natural landscape and its historic and cultural connection to innate wellness practices that appear to be more relevant and desirable than ever,'' said Militza Ashmore, Head of Creative Development & Communications at Anarchitect.

This 2020 interpretation of the air spa allows guests to escape the noise of urban living and connect with nature.

Echoing a modular approach that defined the Brutalist era, guest suites are designed along a central spine, jutting out and recessing to blend with property’s remote location and frame the panoramic views with seamless glass facades.

Its rooftop plateau doubles up as an open-air garden. Featuring planted allotments for growing and gathering wild berries and other organic health foods from the region, promotes self-sufficiency and outdoor activity, whilst nurturing a sense of community amongst the guests.

Strategically placed at the intersection of natural crosswinds, the purpose-built property experiences excellent air quality and cross-ventilation, inviting guests to sit or gather in the sun around the rooftop saltwater pool.

The Air Health Retreat is the latest addition to Anarchitect’s growing hospitality portfolio, demonstrating the studio’s unique approach to context-based solutions for leisure projects.


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