Vygenhoek Organic Spa

June 2014
  • Client: Vygenhoek Organic Spa
  • Location: Dullstroom, Mpumalanga
  • Status: Completed 2008
  • Awards: 2008 Winner: Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Awards in the Unique Spa Category + 2009 Winner: Mpumalanga Institute of Architects Award of Merit for Vygenhoek Organic Spa

Vygenhoek Organic Spa, Dullstroom, Mpumalanga.

Vygenhoek Organic Spa is located 5km from Dullstroom, Mpumalanga. 

The brief required the architects to extend the rigidly controlled organic nature of the occupancy to include the planning and construction process. These principles were applied during conceptualisation, detailing and finishing, as far as practically possible on a tight program and budget. 

Site constraints and micro-climatic concerns influenced the orientation of spaces, arranged principally in a linear configuration around a central space, the focal point of the Spa, where large areas of N- facing glazing creates a thermal greenhouse effect. 

Public and private areas are separated vertically and courtyard spaces were created to act as suntraps, sheltered from the prevailing winter winds, and to use as exterior spill-over spaces for spa activity. Spaces are intentionally furnished in a minimalist manner, the most significant element of each being a framed view of the surrounding landscape.  

The approach with material specification and finishing was to select products with a minimum energy footprint. A further consideration in choice was congruence with the agricultual aesthetic of its setting.

Landscaping was planned to minimise the impact of the development on the land, retaining and rehabilitating as much of the existing grasslands as possible. In areas where material was gathered from the site, such as building stone, care was taken only to collect from pre-disturbed zones and then to rehabilitate these areas. 

In another part of the farm, a dormant agricultural field is now being used for the organic production of products to be used in spa treatments.

Vygenhoek Organic Spa is the first organic spa in Sub-Saharan Africa and opened in March 2008.