A global trend in health and wellness is the drive by communities to live better in todays modern world. It is reported that the health of a city has a direct correlation with the health of its dwellers. Global cities are now rebuilding themselves around the wellness needs of their citizens. “Urban wellness infrastructure” is no longer perceived as a luxury—it’s a necessity. We were impressed how Copenhagen has embraced this trend with the redevelopment of what once was an industrial areas into a new community hub. The Århusgade quarter in Nordhavn is an exciting development with apartments and residential facilities with cafés and restaurants creating a real buzz in the docklands. The area was very popular with the residents and people who were working in the area.

We recently visited Copenhagen as part of a research trip basing our visit in Nordhavn, where we wanted to experience the outdoor bathing culture. During our stay we visited each day the Sandkaj pool. Sandkaj Harbour bath is an official bathing zone in the new Nordhavn quarter, where the boardwalk, the cafés and bathing guests create a lovely beach vibe.  We found the outdoor bathing culture in Copenhagen to be very strong. We visited in October, visiting Nordhavn as part of six other sites, there are19 designated bathing zones in Copenhagen, these public spaces also have a membership model that allows for users to gain exclusive access 24/7 to thermal cabins. These sites were not all luxury one of the sites we visited was a portable Sauna pod that was temporary parked on the side of the harbour. The water temperature was about 9 degrees and the outdoor temperature was about 15. Sandkaj bathing zone is open year-round.  During summer this is a much-loved spot for sun-lounging and bathing in the harbour while in winter it’s mostly winter-bather that take advantage of the facilities.

At each site we visited bathing is done at your own risk, bathing was inside designated bathing-areas which were buoyed off. Each site had a water quality testing station that indicated the water quality that hour. Every site we visited the water quality was at the highest levels. We have a fantastic opportunity in the UK to replica this type of offering to communities with the increase in open water swimming and cold water bathing. The UK needs to recognise with the various residential harbour developments in our towns and cities they have a play ground for health and wellbeing.

Our trip to Denmark was used to build on our knowledge and understanding of international bathing cultures so we can bring these lifestyles into the design of UK based spas and wellness centres. SPA Creators are working on a number of projects where some of the observations from this trip are being implemented.

If you would like to know more about outdoor spa culture and the relevance to your project or property please do let us know. We enjoy sharing our experiences!!