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André Fu Studio designs Claridge’s first spa evoking traditional Japanese temples and Zen gardens

United Kingdom Architecture News - Sep 29, 2022 - 13:00   939 views

André Fu Studio designs Claridge’s first spa evoking traditional Japanese temples and Zen gardens

Hong kong-based interior design practice André Fu Studio has designed a spa for London's luxury hotel brand Claridge’s, evoking traditional Japanese temples and Zen gardens that the interior architect André Fu visited in Kyoto. 

Called Claridge’s Spa, the project is the first spa of Claridge’s in the basement floor the legendary Mayfair hotel in London, which has opened in September.

The 7,000 square foot (650 square meters) spa is described as "a haven of wellness and tranquility", incorporating a swimming pool, steam rooms, sauna and seven treatments rooms. 

With warm colors, materials, soft nuances and transitions offers a sensorial space that evokes wellness and spirituality. 

In the interior design, André Fu reinterprets his own experiences and personal aesthetic by using pure and balanced material palette, redefining the concept of wellness. 

André Fu Studio designs Claridge’s first spa evoking traditional Japanese temples and Zen gardens

"Wellness' is the focus of the design of Claridge’s Spa. This demonstrates a more general societal trend towards looking after the wellbeing of ourselves and the environment," said André Fu. 

"The notion of 'luxury' is also evolving to become more holistic, incorporating concepts of wellness. For me, this is all about creating an escape that celebrates mindfulness, and is pure and balanced," he added.

André Fu Studio designs Claridge’s first spa evoking traditional Japanese temples and Zen gardens

A strong feeling of intimacy and warmth

Taking cues from the context of the hotel’s Art Deco history, the design of the spa has been conceived to evoke the spirituality of the East. 

Rather than focusing on these particular aesthetic traditions, Fu has imagined a unique contemporary experience that "promotes a genuine sense of mindfulness and balance, drawing heavily on Asian design influences." 

As with many of Fu’s other projects, this design conveys a purity of form as well as a strong feeling of intimacy and warmth. The interiors feature peachy colors, natural oak materials and artistic touches throughout the space that creates its softness.

Inside, guests are invited to experience a series of highly articulated spaces that play with proportions and, more importantly, light and shade to create an immersive experience. 

André Fu Studio designs Claridge’s first spa evoking traditional Japanese temples and Zen gardens

Each vista is carefully created with windows to be subtly frame each view. The use of natural elements, such as solid French limestone, natural oak and water, emphasises the sense of authenticity that is at the foundation of Fu’s personal aesthetics.

Upon entering the foyer, guests are welcomed by a full-height cast glass screen crafted by Irish artisan Eoin Turner

The texture of the glass evokes the silhouette of bamboo grove or reed beds, guiding them into the rotunda - a meditative, dimly lit cylindrical space that features a suspended Japanese glass artwork by Victoire Bourgois. 

Falling water trickles down the installation, creating a multisensory atmosphere with relaxing sound and visual elements.

André Fu Studio designs Claridge’s first spa evoking traditional Japanese temples and Zen gardens

Then guests are invited to another circular space adorned with a solid limestone counter, alongside a ceiling illuminated by a halo of light glowing from above. 

Guests can continue their spatial tour throughout the space through a 12-metre long tunnel with a slanted wall on one side, embellished with a grid of strong shadows cast across the ceiling. 

André Fu Studio designs Claridge’s first spa evoking traditional Japanese temples and Zen gardens

On the other side is a linear glass opening that looks onto the indoor pool. This visual connection to water, light and shadow creates the impression of a subterranean micro-climate. 

The corridor leads to a series of private changing pods, each complete with private showers and amenities.

André Fu Studio designs Claridge’s first spa evoking traditional Japanese temples and Zen gardens

The main pool becomes the heart of the spa in the center. Minimalist in spirit, two rows of limestone-clad columns and a magnificent, multi-vaulted ceiling frame the pool. 

Set back from the water, personal cabanas offer private spaces to unwind. A Scarpa-inspired feature low wall also appears to cut into the pool, with a mini waterfall projecting out from one side.

André Fu Studio designs Claridge’s first spa evoking traditional Japanese temples and Zen gardens

Another installation of interlocking oak posts adorns the threshold marking the entrance to the treatment area. 

Inspired by the silhouette of bamboo forestry, the spaces are suffused with a sense of calm and meditation. Bonsai trees are also featured extensively in the connecting passageway to accentuate the sense of nature throughout the spa.

Designed as an ultimate urban retreat, Bonsai trees can be found in each of the seven private treatment salons. 

Lined in full height oak panelling that conceals all equipment, each treatment chamber is deliberately pure to allow a rejuvenation of the mind and body.

Based in Hong Kong, André Fu Studio is an internationally acclaimed design studio founded by interior architect André Fu. 

André Fu Studio has an extensive portfolio of projects spanning Asia and Europe, the studio has revolutionized the concept of cross-cultural modern luxury with a series of projects that reflect Fu’s signature artistic perspective and timeless sensibility.

All images © Claridge’s.

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André Fu Studio bamboo spa