Outdoor thermal pool at Balnea Wellness Centre - Sassuolo (MO)

Like walking barefoot on blocks of salt

The new thermal swimming pool in the Balnea Wellness Centre in the province of Modena is clad with a material inspired by mined blocks of salt, ensuring a remarkably tactile, sensorial and visual experience
Claudia Capperucci
Vanni Borghi
Bluezone Piscine
Ceramic surfaces
Year of completion

Contact with salt provides many well-known health benefits, such as helping to flush out toxins and improving lung function. Moreover, the contrast between the blue of the sky and the intense white of the salt with its tones of grey, sage, taupe and sand produces an aesthetic effect of rare beauty, as anyone who has visited locations such as the Salar de Uyuni salt flat in Bolivia will know. Natural landscapes like these provided the inspiration for the new pool at the Balnea Wellness Centre in Sassuolo in the province of Modena, where Florim’s Rock Salt of Cerim porcelain tile line (in 60×120 cm modules) was chosen for both the interior of the swimming pool and the surrounding paved area. Inspired by blocks of mined salt, the surface has a distinctive crystalline texture that changes according to the light conditions while its powerful tactile appeal makes for a unique sensorial experience. The owners envisaged the new pool as an extension of the indoor space and at the same time a place where guests can enjoy close an almost fluid contact with the surrounding nature. “The Terme della Salvarola spa is located on a green hill among vineyards 3 km from the centre of Sassuolo. Known since Roman times, its waters were used by Matilda of Canossa and described as “divine” by the Este family. The spa centre was built in the late nineteenth century and continued to operate until the First World War. The family of the current owners reopened it in 1958,” explains the centre’s owner Ercole Leonardi, who launched the project for the new thermal pool and commissioned the company Bluezone to build it. “We felt the need for a summer thermal pool to further improve the range and quality of all-year services available to guests and to offer them a more pleasant and comfortable experience, whether they are here for the spa or for tourism, business or sport,” says Leonardi. With its water at a constant temperature of 28°C, the pool is ideal for use during the summer and is accessed via a series of wide steps, a solution that is not only visually striking but also allows users to enter the water gradually, as is customary in wellness centres. “We worked with the engineers to create a design that would blend in well with the garden and leave large spaces for the solarium. We wanted to ensure that the new volumes would integrate well with the surroundings while preserving the adjacent green areas, which almost completely hide the pool from view to anyone who is not in close proximity. The thermal pool is also the right depth for psychophysical rehabilitation courses and water aerobics. It is equipped with hydromassage seats, a blade cascade that lights up at night and microperforated aeromassage benches.”

Ceramic surfaces
porcelain stoneware
Rock Salt
Celtic Grey
60x120 cm

Request Project info >