Merano || Italy
Against the fairytale backdrop of the Merano valleys, Hotel Gartner offers its clients breathtaking views and opportunities for relaxation. To broaden its range of amenities, the hotel owners commissioned Bolzano-based practice, Monovolume Architecture + Design, to build a new structure next door to the hotel dedicated to its guests’ fitness and wellbeing, featuring a SnowRoom built in partnership with Technoalpin. The White-Spa-House is the result of this synergy, the color of its exterior inspiring not just its name but the design of a luxury suite and well-appointed wellness zone. In addition to the SnowRoom, the spa includes a well-equipped gym, a sauna with stunning views, a relaxation area and a number of massage and treatment rooms. The owners’ style is reflected in each of the structure’s details, not least the innovative
solution of swapping out the cold plunge bath, a vital part of post-sauna equipment, for an architect-designed SnowRoom. The dazzling whiteness of snow, showcased through a glazed façade, stands out against the elegant backdrop of the spa, whose walls and floors follow a black color scheme with orange and yellow accents. Without even leaving the hotel, guests enjoy a cold, dry climate, along with stunning views out onto the snowy environment thanks to the SnowRoom delivered by Technoalpin on a turnkey basis. As well as enhancing health and ensuring higher levels of hygiene than a traditional cold bath, the SnowRoom requires only minimal maintenance and has energy consumption comparable to a Finnish sauna. A refrigeration system makes snow for the room by nebulizing water into tiny particles at a temperature of -5 °C. The room temperature is kept between -5° and -11 °C. Snow-making and defrosting times can be automatically and independently programmed in advance; as a rule, snow-making takes place during the night, so guests can use the room from the early morning onwards. All year round, the SnowRoom offers guests a chance to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of a snowbound environment, something that is impossible in many parts of the world. Technoalpin has had enormous success in Europe and round the world, offering products to hotels and retail, where their products let customers try out coats in real usage conditions before they buy. Another feature that makes the system so versatile and adaptable is that the multifunctional unit that controls all parts of the system may be sited up to 50 m away from the room. Technoalpin can also recycle the heat generated during the technical unit’s cooling cycle for other uses, such as heating water for a swimming pool.