Carmody Groarke

Underground Spa . Limerick

Carmody Groarke . photos: © Christian Richters

As part of an extensive renovation of a nineteenth-century mansion, the client requested a place for exercise and relaxation beneath their new, private family home. Their brief was straightforward: a space to be discovered underground and of entirely different character than the house above. The space is excavated from the bedrock of the site and seeks sources of daylight from openings at ground level.

Defined by the simple sculptural treatment of stone, plaster and water, a subtle mixture of natural and artificial light animates the space. The main exercise room is dedicated to a seventeen metre long, stone-lined swimming pool and is surrounded by smaller stone blocks containing treatment rooms - sauna, spa and gymnasium.
The undulating form of the plaster ceiling hovers above the pool and conceals all the technical equipment for the pool-space environment, revealing only a halo of artificial and natural light.

Client: Private
Location: Limerick, Ireland
Status: Completed November 2008
Photography: Christian Richters

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