MIRROR POOL SINA

Artúr Szalatnai- Slatinský, 1929


When you are floating nude in a spring of hot water, welling from deep below, embracing your whole body and covering your skin in tiny bubbles, you easily get the feeling that the place where you are turns into the centre of your own universe. SINA is exactly this kind of place. After the old octagonal pavilion had become insufficient for the required capacity of a developing modern spa, the decision was made to entrust Artúr Szalatnai-Slatinský with the design of a new pavilion in 1929. The building he designed unites the spirituality and sensuality of the place where it is situated. Positioning SINA close to the romantic Hammam from 1888 required a specific attitude. As a convinced modernist with the motto ‘form follows function’, Artúr Szalatnai-Slatinský created an architecture, whose meaning resides inside, not outside. Today, the architecture of Hammam harmonizes in respectful contrast with SINA´s pure pragmatism of the full brick facade and the rectangular window divided into 12 parts. The original pure wall tiling of bluish glazed rectangular tiles communicated with the blue Hammam´s interior. The walls still rise from the azure lagoon of the spring to the flue high above the spring level. The glass blocks of the 12-part window refracted the light which illuminated the opposite wall, originally a space separated into the ladies and gentlemen entrance by a pair of decreasing stair-like partitions facing each other. In the 1970´s, this geometric mass was replaced by a ceramic mosaic and the blue tiles by new yellowish ones. Currently, after 85 years of its existence, SINA has undergone another reconstruction, which changed the interior colour again. Today´s pure white interior, contrasting with the mirror pool blue, partly materializes the vision of the modernists in the 1920´s, who desired purity as a tool for healing and enlightening people´s environment. Unfortunately, the rigid sterility in this specific case unintentionally suppresses the subtle tension and connection between the body and the spirit, which occurs when entering the hot water.  SINA inevitably belongs to the most significant examples of modernism in Trenčianske Teplice. In spite of multiple reconstructions, the spatial principles designed by the original architect were respected. As a result, visitors still have a chance to experience moments of relaxation in the functionalist bath, which used to draw attention from beyond the borders of Czechoslovakia at the time of its construction.