To make space for thought and free the mind, it is necessary to start with what surrounds us. This must have been the starting point for Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku , once they have been contacted by the Haeberlin-Baumann family on the extension of the existing hotel with an area dedicated to wellbeing, the Spa des Saules . A task made easier by the splendid location of the entire complex, Which Also includes a restaurant – the Auberge de l’Ill – the original dating back more than 150 years and with three “active” Michelin stars since 1967.
All in a picture postcard setting. Illhaeusern, Alsace: only 600 inhabitants in a small hamlet on the river Fecht, surrounded by lush vegetation and meadows in flower. And even though the designers were given carte blanche by the client, the works were utterly respectful to the pastoral panorama.
The elimination of the superfluous turned out to be the first step in meeting the requirements of a meditative ambience, as well as offering hospitality, where time is suspended in a state of complete relaxation. So much so that the five Junior Suites, each 40 square meters, where they are kept by the Roman baths, suitable for a spiritual retreat.
Experience of an essential and an all-round sensorial experience.
This is especially true of the architecture, which is completely natural, untreated materials, with a very limited color palette. The swimming pool in the wall. A view of the swimming pool in the wall.
The demand for authenticity also in the rooms, specifically designed by the Jouin-Manku duo, is placed at the center of the room with a large, padded headboard, along with a small selection of objects, including a lamp shade , a screen concealing the television, a writing desk made of thick oak strategically placed to offer the best view of the countryside.
Every guest can enjoy their own space in complete privacy. Open to a sliding wooden panel.
The Spa, created in collaboration with Silvio Rauseo, is extremely attractive with its warm, welcoming hues and a hot stone statuary in cement organically shaped on site. Not to be changed, all suitably concealed by smoked glass doors.
A sauna, a Turkish bath and 3 swimming pools complete the offer.
Client / Owner: Marco, Danielle, Edouard and Katrin Baumann
Location: 4 Rue de Collonges au Mont d’Or, 68970 Illhaeusern
Architecture and Interior design: Agence Jouin Manku / Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku, Yann Brossier, Daphna Glaubert, Mickaël Gouret, Henry Gagnaire
Site architect: Atelier Rauseo, Silvio Rauseo
Main contractor: Armindo
Timber structure and roof: Creacharpente
Plasterwork: Werey Stenger
Internal joinery: The Atelier des Ménétriers, Les Creagenceurs
Stone: Gervasi Frères
Hot stone: Atelier Deshommes
Lighting: D ‘Ecolighting
Stainless-steel pool: Inoxxia
Photo Credits: Nicolas Mathéus