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Alchemy Springs Communal Bathhouse to revive San Francisco’s social bathing culture

22 Sep 2021
Alchemy Springs Communal Bathhouse, a planned hydrothermal spa located in San Francisco’s Lower Nob Hill neighbourhood, has announced a vision to revive the city’s bathhouse culture and provide a place for community and wellness to intersect through social bathing.

With a target opening of Q3 2024, Alchemy Springs is set to pay homage to San Francisco's history as the home of the iconic oceanfront Sutro Baths.

Built in 1894, Sutro Baths was a glass-roofed structure containing seven pools where the community socialised and enjoyed the natural healing salt waters of the Pacific Ocean. In 1966, the facility closed and later burnt down in June of that year.

Acting as a modern counterpart, Alchemy Springs will bring a communal bathhouse back to the city and be realised within a renovated masonry and timber warehouse built in 1919.

Architect Olle Lundberg and Lundberg Design are working in partnership with landscape architects Surface Design & Habitat Horticulture to create the new location. The designers are drawing inspiration from the Sutro Baths for the new bathhouse’s design.

Industry figure and consultant Mia Kyricos is also acting as an advisor on the project.

Alchemy Springs will incorporate a modern biophilic design to bring the outdoors indoors and provide a psychological and physical healing space to unplug and immerse in nature.

Plans include 16,000sq ft of open indoor-outdoor space, complete with multiple therapeutic baths including moon, mineral, massage and sun baths, as well as a salt cave, herbal steamroom, treatment rooms, an elixir lounge, café and retail boutique.

The guest journey is being curated so that visitors are immersed in a journey of the senses as they experience nature’s healing elements alongside bathing amenities inspired by the ancient alchemic elements of water, fire, air and earth.

“We’re incredibly excited to take this next step in sharing Alchemy Springs with the public,” said Rodney Fong, fourth-generation San Franciscan and small business owner.

“Community is at the forefront of the project, where we aim to provide an inclusive and accessible oasis that encourages social, collective wellness in San Francisco.

“Bathhouses are the perfect urban remedy for the rise in stress, technology overload and the decline of human interaction and access to nature.

“We welcome Alchemy Springs as an exciting new business, one that we believe will build a cultural movement that will have ripple effects well beyond our city.”

The project is raising funds through Small Change, an online real estate crowdfunding platform that provides an opportunity for anyone over 18 to invest, giving the general public an opportunity to own part of the company alongside accredited investors and to take part in this community building project for a manageable cost.

The ultimate vision is that Alchemy Springs becomes a public bathing facility that caters to members, drop-in guests and city tourists alike and unites everyone – of every economic status, race and gender – around the spirit of wellness and community.


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