By Lauren Cowie
06 September 2023

Fact Sheet | Landscapes

Guided by a vision to be Victoria’s most sought-after bathing and wellness experience, Alba Thermal Springs & Spa on the Mornington Peninsula is proud of its commitment to respecting the natural environment.

Alba’s design sought synergies between the environment, community, culture and history to create a seamless indoor and outdoor wellness experience to connect guests to themselves and the environment.

The building architecture and interiors are by Hayball, and the landscape architecture and pool design are by MALA Studio.

Creating the coastal landscape has been a two-year process for MALA Studio, bringing the site from a run-down farm to an expansive ecology and high-end destination.

The design and planting draw on indigenous vegetation, rural context and grasslands to instil feelings of relaxation and calm in Alba’s guests. The design also reflects the wildness of the location with unpredictable and dramatically changing weather.

Alba has 32 pools in 15 hectares of garden, including geothermal pools, cold plunge pools and botanical pools.

MALA Studio designed each pool meticulously detailed, using high-quality stone and concrete to express its setting and social purpose. Some pools are submerged in flowering meadows, some created as apertures to the sky, and others are cradled in drifts of waving grasses. Some pools are intentionally intimate, peaceful and private, while others are social.

Each area has its own ambience, textures, palette, and theme. Each pool has its own space and has been designed to feel natural and uncontrived.

Alba’s local terrain and vegetation inspired the landscape plan, which retains and enhances the existing coastal Moonah woodland.

Alba’s long-term vision is to regenerate the native bushland, which is home to birds of prey, such as wedge-tailed eagles, harriers, falcons, black-shouldered kites and Australian kestrels, along with parrots, black cockatoos, honey-eaters, wrens, and fantails. There are grey kangaroos, black wallabies, echidnas, blue-tongued lizards and tree dragons.

Planting includes upper-storey trees, middle canopy and fast-growing shrubs and bushes. Native ground covers, including grasses and reeds, assist with weeds, erosion control and soil enrichment.

Alba’s in-house nursery supports this work.