World's Most Beautiful Buildings
Prisma Bildagentur AG / Alamy
Therme Vals, Vals, Switzerland
extraordinary bathhouse, mostly underground, contains a network of thermal
pools situated between walls assembled from some 6,000 layered slabs of local
stone, Valser gneiss, cut to architect Peter Zumthor’s precise specification.
The grassy roof is punctuated here and there by thin skylights, softly lighting
the bathing areas below. The overall effect is the rarest thing in
architecture: true timelessness.
in the Real World: The adjacent hotel complex is a holdover from the 1960s, but Zumthor has
spruced up the dining facilities. Try drinks in the Blue Lounge.