In the hills some 15 kilometres from central Beirut and on the grounds of the famous Bustan Hotel, a new spa is contained within an existing 19th residential building next to which a new building contains a swimming pool and thalassotherapy areas. The architects studied old hammams in Damascus, Istanbul, and Spain and, to simulate the vaulted spaces, introduced non-structural steel-frame vaults in the old and new spa buildings; the gypsum-board walls of the vaults are covered with blue tiles to recall those of Iznik. Aluminium panels, laser-cut with geometric patterns in reminiscence of mashrabiyyas, are used to temper sunlight in the windows and for decorative elements elsewhere. The new building employs a concrete frame faced with local stone.
Source : Aga Khan Trust for Culture