San Francisco’s iconic bathhouse culture is slated for revitalization thanks to a forthcoming hydrotherapy spa. Located in the Lower Nob Hill neighborhood, Alchemy Springs Communal Bathhouse will enlist a modern biophilic approach while also honoring the city’s landmark Sutro Baths in a design by local architect Olle Lundberg of Lundberg Design. “It was one of the world’s great bathhouses, and we wanted to tie into the history,” Lundberg says. “Japanese Buddhist gardens were another source of inspiration—that kind of controlled nature will be important for us in an urban setting.”
Lundberg plans to transform a masonry and timber structure, which was originally constructed in 1919, to accommodate 16,000 square feet of open indoor-outdoor wellness space. “We have cut a large hole in the center of the building (we call it our ‘cenote’) to bring natural light into the center of the building and down to the basement level,” Lundberg adds. “It also marks the center of the building and creates an overlook that encourages the sort of communal bathing that was exemplified by Sutro Baths.”
Amenities will include therapeutic baths, a salt cave, herbal steam room, café, boutique, treatment rooms, and an elixir lounge. Stone, handmade tiles, translucent salt blocks, and plants will be featured prominently in the materiality so as to infuse nature across Alchemy Springs.
The spa is slated to open fall 2024.
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