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This re-surfaced idea for a
mega-spa was very wide, very long and very low.
Karl Stoldeck and J. Goldmerstein—architects and planners in Berlin—published
a broad idea in 1928 called Thermenpalast (Thermal Palace, Spa Space, something
like that), and although it seemed to satisfy almost everyone, the idea was
consumed in the general economic malaise of the depression of 1929. It looks as though the idea had a little life
again in 1934, but there was a problem with fund raising. The idea came back again, broader, bigger,
and more defined, finding some idea-space in the Popular Science Monthly for
The structure for health and exercise was massive—as a matter of fact, it would’ve been the most massive circular project in history. The building had 6.5 acres under glass, which makes it 280k or so feet, giving the building a diameter of 1,800 feet and a circumference of something just over a mile. IT looks as though the ceiling reached a maximum of 250’ or so; seeing that the dome would also be about 1200, that presents a little engineering problem. But no matter: it would never be built, anyway, even with Nazi dollars from home.
The building was quite a feast of the body—there was a mountainside panorama around the exterior wall, illuminated from a series of light sources from the ceiling. In diminishing concentric circles: there was a mile-long running track, a promenade just inside that, followed by a spectacular pool which looks to be 4000’ long and 100’ wide! Interior to the pool was a wide “beach”, a restaurant, park and lounging area.
This was also a multi-floor building, with gyms and restaurants and a long series of health baths. The entire spectacle would offer many different climates depending on the needs of the clientele.
The cost: 6 million, U.S.
Had the thing been built in Berlin
Here's an interesting read on water parks: Water, leisure and culture: European historical perspectives, Susan C. Anderson, Bruce H. Tabb, 2002.