Status: Completed, 2018
Theme, context:The design proposal for IDA Spa needed to transform and adapt the functionalities of a destination spa in order to accommodate a small scale, urban site positioned within the historic centre of Bucharest, in a residential area consisting in detached single family dwellings and small scale apartment buildings;Located on ‘Paris’ street, the existing art-deco building was restored and converted into a hub of mixed use commercial units - retail, wellness and restaurant - model inspired from London’s Soho House. The spa unit would be fit at lower ground floor level within a series of small scale spaces, separated by thick concrete walls and with relatively small windows, placed above eye level. The main functions to be created are the reception/lounge area, a blow dry hair salon and three massage rooms which also include a cosmetics desk, lounge areas and showers.
Concept:Our proposal relies on using the weight of the ‘excavated’ space and balancing it with light and transparent features. The relationship between the two was the basis of creating the functionality, atmosphere and type of experience we imagined together with our clients.The ‘heavy’ registry (floors and massive walls with small openings) has been finished with an earth tone coloured micro-cement, elm wood and brass insertions, thus making use of the feeling of heaviness and protection it generates.At the other end, the ‘light’ registry consists in fabrics, mirrors and perforated pattern panels. The overlays of transparent and light materials together with the lighting scheme have the role of blurring the limits of space and its small windows and thus to create a feeling of openness and continuity. The main space at the front was kept open to include the reception and the hair salon while the low ceiling was finished with fabric sheets and mirrors to lighten its visual weight.One final important element which articulates the two registries consists in large planters with exotic vegetation which also contribute significantly to define the atmosphere and type of experience (inspired from Indonesia) which our clients desired to create.