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    Nickolas Gurtler brings 1970s Italian glamour to Youth Lab clinic in Perth

    Australian designer Nickolas Gurtler has drawn from the nightclubs of 1970s Milan and Florence to create the interior for a cosmetic clinic in Perth, Australia.

    It is the third interior that Gurtler has created for Youth Lab, a clinic that offers a range of non-surgical cosmetic treatments that include anti-ageing procedures, hair removal and skin rejuvenation.
    The waiting area features a mirror wall, gold lights and a green silk carpetLocated in Joondalup, Youth Lab 3.0 is the brand’s most experimental space so far.
    While the two other locations – in Claremont and West Perth – occupy heritage buildings, this one is set inside a commercial block from the 1990s. This meant Gurtler could be more daring in his approach.
    A Dina Broadhurst artwork provides a focal pointWhile the design was partly informed by the brand’s minimalist identity, it also features playful details that include mirror walls and a grand geometric reception desk.

    “There were some really outrageous and glamorous concepts that I really responded to and had filed away for the right project,” said Gurtler.
    “When Youth Lab approached us again for their third clinic, I knew that this was the right time to bring them to life.”
    The reception desk is formed of Arabescato marble and Venetian plasterThe starting point was the palette of forms and materials that Gurtler has worked with previously for the brand, which includes decorative marble, plush velvet and metal cabinetry.
    While the Claremont space that Gurtler designed for the brand has a New York loft vibe, here these elements are paired with shades of olive green and gold to create a more retro Italian feel.
    “This language is a kind of style guide for us on each project,” said Gurtler.
    “Common elements such as mixed metals, monolithic forms, plush textures and rich colour are used in each of the clinics, but we translate these elements completely differently each time.”
    The colour palette centres around olive green and goldArabescato marble is combined with Venetian plaster and polished aluminium to create the cuboidal forms of the reception desk, which sits beneath a custom glass and brass lighting pendant by designer Lost Profile Studio.
    A large gridded mirror installation provides the backdrop to a waiting area furnished with a green silk carpet, a blocky marble coffee table and sculptural white armchairs.
    A sculpture by American potter Jonathan Adler sits in front of a second mirror wallRows of golden-hued ceiling lights are reflected in the mirrors, doubling their visual impact, and an artwork by Dina Broadhurst creates another focal point.
    As customers are led through for treatment, they also encounter a second mirror wall, a ceramic by American potter Jonathan Adler, custom wall lights and brass door numbers.
    Custom lighting scones embellish the wallsYouth Lab 3.0 was longlisted for Dezeen Awards 2022 in the leisure and wellness interior category, along another of Gurtler’s designs, the Cole Hair Studio.
    The designer hopes the space offers “an immersive and sensorial experience which is as much invigorating as it is calming”.
    “The Youth Lab experience is a luxury and the interior reflects that,” he added.
    The photography is by Timothy Kaye.

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    Studio N highlights textured materials with lighting at Dubai spa

    Dubai-based Studio N has created a lighting scheme to emphasise the natural materials used in the Sensasia Stories Spa designed by interiors studio Roar in the Kempinski Hotel Mall in the UAE.

    As the spa has no natural light, Studio N focussed on highlighting the variety of materials used in the space, which includes grey slate, stone, wood and hessian wallpaper.
    “We were very conscious of how we illuminated each of the different surfaces and how light could help emphasise the natural characteristics of materials”, the studio told Dezeen.
    The central space features illuminated archesOverall the studio aimed to meet spa lighting guidelines while maintaining a calm and peaceful atmosphere in the space.
    As the Sensasia Stories Spa is located in a busy mall, the lighting designers wanted the entrance space and reception area to act as a calm area of transition from retail to spa environment.

    Concealed low-power and high-lumen LED lights were used to create a soothing environment, with under-counter lighting used for soft, ambient light in the the reception.
    Strip lights illuminate stairs at the spa poolThe 270-square-metre spa contains eight treatment rooms, along with an ice fountain, herb saunas, steam rooms, and pool, that are arranged around a central courtyard.
    In this central space interiors studio Roar and Studio N created a large arched structure that contains illuminated arches. “We used linear grazers to pick out the texture of stone walls,” said Studio N.
    Concealed low-power lights are used in treatment roomsStrip lights were integrated into the pool’s stairs and, in other areas, smaller lights and decorative light fixtures were used to create illuminated accent walls.
    A recessed gobo projector was used to replicate the movement of water, which the studio said was “a subtle reference to the natural world”.

    Beer-filled baths and straw beds feature in Brussels’ Bath & Barley spa

    The studio used recessed wide-beam pinhole downlights to provide general lighting to the space in a minimal style.
    The lighting of each area of the spa can be controlled via a DALI lighting control system which allows lighting to be changed between lighting scenes. Treatment rooms can be changed between ‘mood lighting’, ‘treatment’ and ‘cleaning scenes’.
    Studio N used LED lights throughout the spaStudio N is shortlisted in the architectural lighting design category at the Dezeen awards 2022 alongside Liftshutz Davidson Sandiland and Leo Villareal’s Illuminated River installation and a theatre venue clad in luminous tiles in China, by Brandston Partnership.
    The photography is by The Oculis Project.

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    Beer-filled baths and straw beds feature in Brussels' Bath & Barley spa

    Set in a vaulted cellar in the old city centre of Brussels, Bath & Barley is an updated take on a traditional Czech beer spa from design studio WeWantMore.

    Beer spas offer beer-infused spa treatments, most notably beer baths where guests soak in water mixed with hops, malt and medicinal herbs.
    WeWantMore has designed the Bath & Barley spa in BrusselsBath & Barley is the “very first” beer spa in Belgium, according to local practice WeWantMore, offering a modern take on the traditional day spas.
    “Beer spas are a tradition in the Czech Republic but not in Belgium, despite our nation’s rich beer culture,” the studio explained.
    Privacy screens were designed to look like stained glass”We noticed that most Czech beer spas are more beer than spa – dark, lots of neon and an overall pub vibe,” the practice added. “This wasn’t our idea of a soothing wellness experience.”

    “Instead, we decided to create a sense of relaxation and intimacy, but with a link to what distinguishes Bath & Barley: beer, bathing and Belgium’s beer.”
    The spa’s reception is located on the ground floorTo realise this vision, the studio drew on a palette of raw natural materials such as lime stucco, wood and straw, alongside copper and stained glass to evoke Belgium’s medieval beer brewing culture.
    The spa is split across two floors, with the oak bathtubs nestled into the vaulted basement and framed by draft beer machines, where guests can pour themselves a pint.
    A stone tasting counter defines the entrance spaceAfter the bathing ritual, guests can use the spa’s sauna or rest on a staw-upholstered lounge that allows them to “connect with nature”, according to WeWantMore.
    “The design supports social wellbeing and creates a unique escape from the daily rush,” WeWantMore said.

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    The spa’s reception is located one level up on the ground floor and is wrapped in curved copper sheets to resemble the kettles used in traditional Belgian breweries.
    Dried barley hangs from the ceiling above a stone tasting counter, where guests can taste a variety of beers and select the hops they want to add to their bath. 
    Steel balustrades depict the different stages of brewing beer”The natural scent of the dried barley branches dangling from the ceiling adds to the sensory experience and sets the mood,” said the studio.
    Ecclesial illustrations from Bath & Barley’s visual identity are integrated throughout the interior in the form of privacy screens, which resemble stained-glass church windows, and steel balustrades that depict the different steps of the brewing process.
    Copper accents feature throughout the interiorBath & Barley has been shortlisted in the leisure and wellness interior category of this year’s Dezeen Awards.
    Other projects in the running include a hotel spa in the Maldives designed by Marcio Kogan of Studio MK27 and a Shenzhen cinema with a copper-lined lobby.
    All images are courtesy of WeWantMore.

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    Formafatal uses glass and light to denote treatment zones in Prague spa

    Curved cement-screed walls with embedded rows of vertical glass bars characterise this spa in Prague designed by local studio Formafatal.

    The Cellularium spa is located in the Institute of Natural Medicine, where it occupies one curved corner of a floor in the Main Point Pankrac building, which has a glazed exterior broken up by vertical aluminum sheets.
    Light fixtures in the ceilings and walls punctuate the interiorThe spa’s main treatment area features three rooms that are delineated by rows of perpendicular glass bars, in reference to the vertical design of the building’s facade. These transparent rods are lit according to the function of the space inside.
    “There is no need to describe the purpose of the room to customers,” explained Formafatal. “The colour itself defines the content: sauna as fire (red), cryosauna as ice (blue) and air flow as wind (gray)”.
    Blue-hued light denotes the cryosaunaThe 155-square-metre interior comprises an entrance foyer and a waiting room, doctor’s office, locker rooms and treatment areas. The spaces were strategically placed around the building’s inclined structural columns.

    “You can hardly find a flat wall in the floor plan,” said the architects, who acknowledged the confines of the existing space by using curved subdividing walls.
    Locker room doors emerge from the curved wallsA convex divider decorated with metal fins separates the doctor’s office from the waiting area and nods to the exterior of the building in which the spa is located.
    “The outer shell of the surgery is lined with vertical steel plates, which gradually fold down to a flat smooth cladding with integrated doors,” the team explained.
    The exterior of the doctor’s office is accessed by a flush concealed doorAn undulating ceiling punctuated by square, solid oak dowel rods of varying lengths unites the different areas in the spa.
    Formafatal used a toned-down colour and material palette in the scheme to focus the attention on the curved shapes of the interior.

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    “Dark tones and smooth screed on surfaces together with daylight significantly underline the playfully modelled space,” the studio said.
    “We left the nurse’s and the doctor’s office in soft light shades that do not distract the visitor,” it continued.
    Inclined structural columns are most prominent in the doctor’s and nurses’s officesLocker rooms feature mirrors with bespoke backlighting housed within perforated metal sheet backing.
    “We lit up the small circular locker rooms into a play of light and shadow, again with a grid of vertical strips,” Formafatal said.
    The locker rooms employ the materials used throughout the rest of the space”We repeated all these principles and materials in other modified forms throughout the interior to achieve a harmonious whole,” it concluded.
    Formafatal is a Prague-based architecture studio founded in 2015 that works across the residential, leisure, hospitality and commercial sectors.
    Other projects by Formafatal include a villa in the Costa Rican jungle made up of monolithic concrete volumes.
    The photography is by BoysPlayNice.

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    Leckie Studio imitates stalactite formations inside Vancouver's AER Skinlab

    Quarries and caves served as visual references for this marble-lined skincare clinic in Vancouver, Canada, designed by local firm Leckie Studio.

    Set on the ground level of Vancouver’s Waterfall Building, AER Skinlab offers a selection of cosmetic injections and laser treatments.
    Walls throughout the AER Skinlab clinic in Vancouver are lined with grey marbleLeckie Studio wanted to create a calm, grounding interior for the clinic to make it look as if it was “excavated from the stillness of rock”.
    The studio’s key reference point for this aesthetic was a series of photographs by Canadian artist Edward Burtynsky, which captures the dramatic topography of quarries around the world.
    In homage, the clinic’s service desk and almost all of its walls were clad with vast panels of grey marble sourced from nearby Vancouver Island. Each slab was given a subtle striated finish to emulate the irregular surface texture of stone.

    The marble was striated to emulate the uneven surface texture of stoneSimilar striations were made on AER Skinlab’s glass facade, obscuring the interior from passersby to preserve patients’ privacy.
    Crowning the clinic’s reception area is a striking ceiling installation that was produced by Leckie Studio in collaboration with local art and design practice Tangible Interaction.
    It consists of strips of Tyvek, a type of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) fabric, which are hung at different lengths. Clustered together, these resemble pointed mineral formations called stalactites that are created when water drips through a cave ceiling.
    Leckie Studio and Tangible Interaction created a hanging installation for the clinic”The ceiling installation was very ambitious from both a design detailing and installation perspective,” Leckie Studio told Dezeen.
    “We prioritised the experiential aspect while also ensuring compliance with local building codes, life safety, HVAC [heating, ventilation and air conditioning] and lighting performance.”
    Consultation and treatment rooms are simply finishedOne of the walls in the clinic’s reception is punctuated with a narrow niche, where AER Skinlab displays its line of skincare products.
    An arched corridor leads through to a consultation area and a trio of treatment rooms that were finished with pale plaster walls and grey soft furnishings to complement the rest of the interior scheme.
    The clinic’s striated glass facade was designed to preserve patients’ privacyLeckie Studio has completed a number of projects around its hometown of Vancouver. Among them is Courtyard House, a family home that contains only the most essential living spaces.
    The studio also designed the Vancouver office of Slack Technologies – the company behind workplace messaging system Slack – which occupies a former warehouse.
    The photography is by Ema Peter.
    Project credits:
    Design: Leckie StudioCeiling installation: Tanglible InteractionBrand identity: Glasfurd & Walker

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    Frederick Tang Architecture transforms New York loft into light-filled wellness studio

    Interior architecture and design studio Frederick Tang Architecture (FTA) has updated Moxi, a wellness studio and acupuncture centre in Soho, New York by re-arranging its interiors around an expansive oval skylight.

    Frederick Tang Architecture, based in Brooklyn, was tasked with reordering and redesigning the open-plan, top-floor studio into a space that accommodates a reception area, six treatment rooms, offices, bathrooms, herb dispensary and pantry.
    Frederick Tang Architecture wanted to capture natural lightThe studio took the 1901 mercantile building’s skylight as the starting point for the refurbishment of the rectangular-shaped space.
    Its dense urban context required an innovative solution to increase the floor area while introducing natural light throughout.
    Moxi is arranged around a central skylight”Architecturally we wanted to organise the many different components in a plan that felt logical and complete which was difficult with space constraints,” said Frederick Tang, director of design and principal architect at Frederick Tang Architecture (FTA).

    “We started by organizing the plan around the sources of natural light,” he told Dezeen.
    An office space has been added to the interiorVisitors enter the wellness studio and arrive at a reception area framed by four arched windows overlooking Broadway.
    Here, a custom bench crafted from white oak slats and copper detailing curves along two walls while sculptural pendant lights hang from the ceiling.
    To maximise space and take full advantage of the natural light, this area doubles as a site for gatherings and classes.
    The reception is flanked by four arched windowsFTA reconfigured Moxi’s rooms as well as softened corners and created arches that echo some of the existing architecture of the space for the client who wanted the interior to feel “holistic, natural, calm and inspiring”.
    A single corridor leads to all six treatment rooms, which were also coloured in shades of green.
    The walls were lime-washed in a soft cypress green, with wainscotting wooden panels painted in a darker shade of the same hue.

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    FTA wanted the colour to contrast traditional wellness studios which are often white and feel more clinical.
    “The predominant colour was green –lime washed in a cypress and deep forest – chosen for its property to heal, critical at the front where the patron first experiences the space,” said the architects.
    Each acupuncture treatment room has a different wallpaperThe treatment rooms, which are the most intimate sections in the studio, contain two bedrooms and a bathroom arranged around the lightwell.
    The green was offset by hints of pale peach throughout the interior and natural finishes including terrazzo, concrete, boucle and ribbed glass add depth and texture.
    A kitchenette is located at the end of the central corridorAt the end of the corridor, a second archway opens into a back-of-house area, where FTA has inserted a new office, herb dispensary, staff pantry, and bath.
    Other design-focused wellness spaces include the Shelter wellness centre in Sydney, which is located in a former restaurant and Yoko Kitahara spa in Israel, which was transformed from an Ottoman-era home.
    The photography is by Gieves Anderson.

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    Snarkitecture designs Manifest “self-care” club in Washington DC

    Design studio Snarkitecture incorporated tiled walls and arches into a club in the US capital that offers a barbershop, a coffee bar, a boutique and a speakeasy.

    Open to the public, the Manifest club occupies a slender, four-story building in Washington DC’s Adams Morgan neighbourhood.
    Manifest is entered through a courtyard lined with wooden wallsMeant to put “a sophisticated spin on self-care”, the club was conceived by the entrepreneur KJ Hughes, along with his partners Brian Merritt and Susan Morgan.
    The aim was to create a distinctive location where people could get a haircut or beard trim, grab an espresso, buy upscale streetwear and enjoy a cocktail.
    Tiled walls and arches were incorporated into the clubThe owners turned to New York’s Snarkitecture to design the project.

    “When we set out to design Manifest, it needed to be a new kind of barbershop, inviting to all people,” said Alex Mustonen, a firm partner.
    Snarkitecture added a barbershop to the project”Simultaneously, we wanted to create a sanctuary, a community space, an institution, a one-of-a-kind experience that still feels like home,” he said.
    Set back from the street, the Manifest building is entered through a courtyard lined with wooden walls.
    The studio used a largely restrained palette of materialsThe outdoor space is adorned with pockets of greenery and curved concrete benches. At the base of the benches are illuminated reveals made of LED strips with an acrylic diffuser.
    Inside, walls are clad in white tiles, and the floor is covered in large-format cement squares. For the millwork, the team used white oak with a natural finish.
    White oak was used for the millworkThe barbershop – which encompasses four stations and an area for washing hair – is fitted with chairs wrapped in buttery leather. The coffee bar features a counter with a fluted wooden base and a terrazzo top.
    In the retail zone, clothing by brands such as Engineered Garments and Homme Pliseé is displayed within arched, wooden niches. The store also sells apparel from Manifest’s own line, Of US.
    Chairs wrapped in leather feature in the barbershopStretching across the ceiling are wooden beams with embedded LED strips – a design element that contributes to the interplay of straight and curved lines in the space.
    “Unifying details throughout the space include archways – which are meant to represent the sloughing off of the old and moving into a new phase of life – while linear elements symbolise a sense of community and connection,” the designers said.

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    A “secret staircase” leads up to the speakeasy, which seats up to 30 guests. In contrast with the lower-level space, the bar has a moody atmosphere.
    Walls are sheathed in a custom green plaster, and floors are finished with dark-stained oak. Seating areas are adorned with green velvet banquettes and leather chairs from Nikari.
    The speakeasy has a moody atmosphereOverhead are arched forms that help create a sense of intimacy while also drawing a visual connection to the arches in the lower level. The arches are finished with mosaic green tile and safety glass with wire mesh.
    Throughout the club, Snarkitecture aspired to create an environment that was both comfortable and stimulating.
    Walls are sheathed in a custom green plaster”Every single element was designed to create a welcoming, intimate atmosphere that will invoke conversation and appeal to all the senses,” the team said.
    Later this spring, Manifest will expand to include a rentable apartment with a retractable glass roof and a terrace.
    Throughout the club, the atmosphere was designed to be both comfortable and stimulatingThis is not the first project in Washington DC by Snarkitecture. In 2018, the firm created a Fun House installation in the National Building Museum’s great hall that featured a white gabled house and a kidney-shaped ball pit.
    Other projects by the studio include a shop for streetwear brand Kith within a Parisian mansion, and an installation in a Manhattan gallery that consisted of 168 white spherical orbs that changed colours when touched.
    The photography is by Michael Grant.

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    Pastel colours and textured concrete decorate Stockholm hair salon

    Westblom Krasse Arkitektkontor has designed the interior for a minimalist hair salon that was informed by architect Carlo Scarpa’s geometric designs and the muted colours of 1920s swimming baths.

    Called Little Faktory, the salon was designed and renovated by the local architecture studio for hairdresser Sofia Geideby and is located in a former office in Stockholm, Sweden.
    Circle and square shapes define Little FaktoryWestblom Krasse Arkitektkontor overhauled the 220-square-metre basement space, which is over one hundred years old, to reveal its original textured concrete walls and exposed steel structure.
    As the salon is located underground, the studio explained that it also had to be “very careful working with artificial light”.
    Round mirrors hang above black chairsIts design for Little Faktory was intended to be minimalist and streamlined.

    “Our aim was to declutter the former office and create one big open space, making its four pillars the heroes of the main room again,” studio co-founder Jesper Westblom told Dezeen. “The challenge was to reduce, rather than to add things.”
    The salon features four original pillarsIn line with this pared-back approach, the firm painted the salon’s walls in a delicate, light yellow hue that intends to brighten its basement setting and maintain but soften the space’s industrial feel.
    Circles and squares are dotted throughout the salon in the form of mirrors and furniture. According to Westblom, they were informed by the geometric shapes seen in the late Italian architect Scarpa’s designs.
    The studio also drew on Scarpa’s use of contrasting colours.
    A washing station is located behind a perforated metal screenFreestanding haircutting stations are arranged in the centre of the salon’s main studio. These feature thick side tables shaped like plus-signs, as well as round mirrors mounted on powder-coated steel tubes.
    On one side of the main space, black leather chairs sit opposite a floating table that lines the concrete wall, above which embellished circular mirrors and square-shaped display shelves are positioned.
    Gustaf Westman recreated one of his mirrors in a bespoke colour for the projectA washing station can be found on the other side of the room, which is subtly separated from the rest of the area by a cloverleaf perforated metal screen that echoes the plus-shape used elsewhere.
    “The customer and the hairstylist represent one square each, on both sides, resulting in the plus shape,” Westblom explained.

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    A colour lab, VIP area and private office space are located behind bespoke, glazed double doors, while the entrance stairwell is illuminated with spidery neon lights by designer Josefin Eklund.
    Also among the salon’s bespoke elements is a rectilinear mirror with a bulbous blue frame by Gustaf Westman, a design that the Swedish artist recreated in a custom colour specifically for the project.
    LED lights illuminate the stairwell in neonAll of Little Faktory’s interiors are created in a muted combination of the primary colours of red, yellow and blue, which Westblom explained is an ode to the salon’s slogan, “the colourful kind”.
    “We looked at some early, inspirational images that set the tone of the project,” he said.
    “One image, in particular, was of 1920s public baths with beautiful cream-coloured tiles, orange and red details and, of course, a blue swimming pool. This ended up forming our main colour scheme.”
    Mirrors shaped like paint splashes liven up the customer toiletThe project’s emphasis on colour is repeated in the customer toilet, where playful mirrors shaped like paint splashes are arranged opposite each other in an attempt to create an infinity effect.
    Little Faktory’s material palette includes rubber flooring, reeded glass and dyed fibreboard, which intend to complement the salon’s existing elements and provide functional solutions to its customers’ needs.
    Little Faktory is a basement hair salonJesper Westblom and Robin Krasse founded their eponymous Stockholm-based architecture firm in January 2021.
    Other recent hair salon designs that have colour and texture at their core include Danielle Brustman’s Mitch Studio – a Melbourne salon that features yellow accents and glass partitions – and Mood, a hair studio by Casa Antillón in Madrid with bold mint-green ceilings sprayed with insulation foam.
    The photography is by Mikael Olsson.

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