High line co-founder Robert Hammond to join global wellbeing leader Therme Group
Therme Group has announced the appointment of Robert Hammond as president and chief strategy officer for Therme North America. Hammond will be responsible for overseeing the development of the Therme product and programming for the wellbeing company’s expansion into the United States. His role is slated to begin in April 2022. Hammond will continue serving as executive director at the High Line until January, and then continue on staff there until joining Therme.
Since 1999, many millions of visitors a year worldwide have experienced the Therme concept, which combines nature, technology, and culture at an affordable price point to deliver the world’s most advanced wellbeing destinations. As part of its global development program, Therme Group is targeting an initial group of major cities in the United States as locations for its large-scale urban wellbeing centres that are accessible to people of all means and backgrounds.
In August, Therme announced that it would be building its first North American project in Toronto. Therme Canada | Ontario Place has the potential to welcome over 20,000 visitors a day, promoting new accessibility to the waterfront, creating thousands of new jobs, and developing cultural and art partnerships reflective of the community.
Visionary, Experienced Leadership
Hammond comes to Therme after serving for over two decades as co-Founder and executive Director of Friends of the High Line, where he led the transformation of an abandoned elevated railway line in Manhattan into an iconic urban park.
Under his leadership, the High Line grew to become one of the most beloved public spaces in the United States, attracting eight million annual visitors annually with its innovative design, vibrant public art program, and popular community programming. Inspiring adaptive reuse projects around the world, Hammond also created the High Line Network to foster community and share best practices among leaders of other infrastructure renewal projects.
Hammond was also instrumental in building youth and educational partnerships to engage young New Yorkers as environmental stewards and civic leaders.
A certified Vedic meditation teacher, Hammond has served as a consultant or advisor for myriad companies and organisations, including the Times Square Alliance, Alliance for the Arts, and the National Cooperative Bank. He served as an ex-officio member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Board of Trustees, as well as Liberty Expedia, a formerly publicly traded travel company. He currently serves on the boards for Little Island, Grounded Solutions Network, and the San Antonio Museum of Art.
For his work on the High Line, Hammond has been awarded the Vincent Scully Prize, the Rome Prize by the American Academy in Rome, and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Jane Jacobs Medal. He is also co-producer of the film “Citizen Jane: Battle for the City,” a documentary film on community design advocate Jane Jacobs, which premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.
Hammond will join Therme NA Executive Chairman John H. Alschuler, who founded HR&A Advisors and currently serves as its board chair. Alschuler previously helped steer the development of projects including Brooklyn Bridge Park, California’s Santa Monica Mall, Washington, D.C.’s The Yards, the High Line, and others. Working together on the High Line, Hammond and Alschuler shared a deep passion for investing in communities, revitalising the public realm, and forging impactful relationships with stakeholders. Both will work together again to reimagine how people connect with the urban environment and the people around them.
Wellbeing for All
Guided by the principle of “wellbeing for all,” every Therme centre offers affordable holistic services and recreational spaces for customers of all ages. Visitors to Thermes can find one-of-a-kind experiences tailored to their needs — whether it is group thermal bathing and meditation, reimagined family-friendly water-based attractions, personalised treatments, or fully immersive and experiential art programs.
For more than 20 years, the Therme wellbeing resort concept has been transforming how guests spend their free time, while boosting their physical and mental health and wellbeing. The Therme concept is built upon the long-recorded benefits and traditions of thermal bathing combined with modern technology, resulting in safe, communal spaces that welcome everyone from families and friends to individuals of all ages and backgrounds.
This summer, Therme Group announced its major investment in Superblue, the groundbreaking new venture dedicated to experiential art, founded by Marc Glimcher and Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst, with founding partner Emerson Collective. The company collaborates with leading names in experiential art and is currently co-presenting “Fragile Future” at The Shed in New York, following the May 2021 launch of its first centre in Miami.
Therme centres worldwide showcase thoughtful and innovative urban design featuring exquisite glass structures that let sunlight pour over lush, botanical gardens. They offer guests a healthy, active space to recover, restore, and reconnect with themselves and each other, surrounded by warm water, nature, and cultural amenities. Therme Group has multiple destinations in development worldwide including the UK, mainland Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific.
“Access to nature and relaxation are the keys to mental wellbeing and physical health,” said Robert Hammond, president and chief strategy officer of Therme NA. “As someone who understands firsthand the healing power of nature and the importance of mindfulness, I believe everyone needs a place where they can comfortably and affordably reconnect with themselves, nature, and the environment around them. My entire career I have been inspired by the power of innovative urban design, wellness, nature, art, and community-building, and Therme is an exciting opportunity to bring these passions together in multiple cities across North America.”
“Given Robert’s experience revitalising overlooked spaces into critical pieces of civic infrastructure, we’re thrilled that he will bring his visionary approach to Therme,” said John H. Alschuler, executive chairman of Therme NA. “Robert’s stewardship in creating experiences that people across the world are excited to participate in is a testament to his ability to connect communities to our urban environment. As the world emerges from the last 18 months of isolation and virtual connections, we’re eager to bring the accessible, affordable experience that Therme offers to our corner of the world.”
“The High Line experience is unlike any other in the world, just as the experiences at Therme are unlike anything else,” said Dr. Robert Hanea, chairman and CEO of Therme Group.“Robert’s vision to transform an abandoned elevated rail track into a vital piece of civic infrastructure that integrates botanical gardens, community space, and venues for experiential art is precisely why we are thrilled to have him join us in bringing Therme to people across North America.”