Thermengruppe Josef Wund launches Forest Bathing: Lupuna

The new immersive experience is at Therme Euskirchen's thermal baths, near Cologne in Germany


By Wendy Golledge

22 April 2024

Thermengruppe Josef Wund has launched a new immersive wellness experience – Forest Bathing: Lupuna – at Therme Euskirchen in Germany.

The developer is renowned for creating biophilic thermal spaces and operates thermal spas and bathing facilities worldwide.

Created in collaboration with wellness innovation consultancy White Mirror, Forest Bathing: Lupuna invites guests to step through a waterfall into an immersive journey to the heart of the Amazonian rainforest.

Billed as ‘the future of experiential wellness’, the experience aims to bidge the gap between the arts, nature, sciences and wellbeing.

Thermengruppe Josef Wund and White Mirror worked with London-based art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) and architectural and experience designers TheLoveTriangle to create the multi-sensory experience.

“This concept goes beyond traditional wellness approaches by integrating immersive technologies with sensory science. It's a testament to how digital advancements can be harnessed to improve wellbeing, offering a new dimension to therapeutic experiences.”

Ramy Elnagar

Co-founder, White Mirror

Immersive wellness alongside thermal bathing

The Forest Bathing: Lupuna experience has been designed to improve mental and physical wellbeing.

Located in a permanent immersive space within Therme Euskirchen’s wellness offering near Cologne, its encapsulates 24 hours in the Amazon rainforest in a 24-minute experience.

“We believe Forest Bathing: Lupuna will ignite a movement towards holistic, scientifically validated wellness spaces,” said Ramy Elnagar, co-founder of White Mirror. “This isn’t just a development; it’s a landmark.

“People are out of sync because we’re increasingly disconnected from nature and, fundamentally, from ourselves. In response, we merge nature with immersive technology and the senses to craft experiences that are not just engaging, but deeply therapeutic.

“Our approach draws on the emerging field of neuroaesthetics, which leverages sensory sciences to achieve intentional outcomes.

“Our aim, through a deliberate fusion of light, sound, vibration, and temperature, is to unlock a new dimension of experiential wellness – of what we call ‘experience as medicine’.

Forest Bathing: Lupuna condenses 24 hours in the Amazon rainforest into a 24-minute experience

An ‘Immersive Sky’ experience room

Inspired by the ancient Japanese tradition of shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, the rooms offer an immersive, eyes-open meditation.

Participants are encouraged to recline, gaze upward and immerse themselves in a day in the life of the tropical rainforest.

Upon entering, guests are greeted with a physical waterfall, leading to a simulated tropical downpour where rain machines and spatial audio envelop the senses in white noise.

The next step sees guests able to recline in temperature-controlled, vibroacoustic circular furniture resembling lily pads. While reclined, they can gaze up at a projection depicting a majestic kapok (lupuna) tree against the Amazonian sky.

Guests recline on vibroacoustic circular furniture to gaze up at a projection

Thermal bathing of the future

The experience uses three video artworks, which show the connection between the lupuna tree and the unique Queen of the Night that grows in its branches, helping guests perceive themselves as integral parts of nature.

“Modern life pours into us through our senses and this bombardment forces us to shut down the full spectrum of our sensitivity,” says Barnaby Steel, one of Marshmallow Laser Feast’s three creative directors.

“This immersive artwork tickles the senses back out of their shells. This project takes you deep into your forest body.”

The interaction of technology, art and nature offers a unique new form of wellbeing, targeted at all five senses.

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