Station BLÜ is a heavenly resort complex on the outskirts of the Charlevoix region of Québec, bordering a river. Designed by Blouin Tardif Architecture-Environnement, the site is comprised of three pavilions that house a steam bath, sauna, massage areas, hot and cold pools, plenty of relaxation spaces and a restaurant. The architectural challenge was to highlight nature and integrate the necessary components of the spa through clean, contemporary architecture that respects the environment.

To unify the grouping of pavilions, Blouin Tardif sheathed them in black-colored wood in various grades, which lend random texture while referring to the local vernacular.

The structures each have large openings and terraces that cut across them. Their positioning forms a pathway that highlights the exterior surroundings, that of the resort’s outdoor facilities and the natural landscape beyond. As one passes from one pavilion to the next, there’s the sense of being on stage as a player in the greater natural world.

The interior spaces are uncluttered in order to allow the natural landscape to claim the starring role. The restaurant’s large banquette and the steam bath mark the only use of bright colors.

The entrance is marked by a walkway that cuts through the east wall of the main building. When visitors enter the building, the high ceilings and picture window work to project them into the exterior landscape and countryside.

Photos by Stéphane Groleau.