How design is responding to wellness trends
‘We see great potential in wellness in architectural design, since it implies a willingness to experience,’ says Space Popular’s Lara Lesmes of her office’s Infinity Spa in Bangkok. The outfit was responsible for not only the interior design, but also the furniture and graphics of the Thai spa and beauty parlour.
‘In choosing an embodied experience, the visitor is particularly receptive and aware of the space they are in, the chair they are sitting on and the material they touch.’ She believes that design can greatly enhance such impressions ‘while remaining peripheral’.
For the spa, located in a typical Thai ‘shophouse’, the designers set out to visually eliminate the ubiquitous concrete shell. Fredrik Hellberg, the other half of Space Popular, explains that ‘in order to transport the user into a relaxing and pleasurable abstract world, we strategically placed the emphasis on the nearly 20 custom-designed furniture pieces that are positioned against a muted background of whiteness.’ Further helping to erase the urban archetype, segments of bright turquoise add to the abstraction of the immersive scheme.
‘It’s common to underestimate the importance of a seamless experience in wellness spaces,’ says Lesmes. ‘Things such as endless featureless corridors or sounds you aren’t supposed to hear can interrupt and detract from the overall perception of one’s surroundings. In a spa, the mood builds up from the moment you enter until you leave, so we created an experiential sequence that is delivered through colour, light and acoustic control.’