Spa Design: Shanghai Hip-Pop Design Team
All photos: Jing Zhang
There’s nothing better for escaping our new reality today than allowing ourselves to dream; and nothing more balancing to the worrisome truth out there than a little beauty. A space unlike your typical houses of relaxations, the Jiyu Spa in Shanghai has both. Designed by the Shanghai-based Hip-Pop Design Team, this spa design is the result of a new philosophy of relaxation and of its creators’ great imaginative power. It is also a treat for the eyes, to be enjoyed even from a distance.
The idea behind it is that inducing a dream-like state, where you step beyond reality and descend into the dreamy waters of the unconscious, is an ideal way to bring on serenity and calm. To achieve this, the design team used the power of optical illusions and chose dark spaces instead of light-bathed rooms in order to help you escape reality.
It is a surprising take, since the typical spas relish the power of light and let it fill their spaces. Here, dark and light are equal companions. The 2000-sq. m space creates a perfect balance between the two, inviting clients into a wonderland of colors, light reflections and mysterious shadows.
Even the spiral stairs are a beautiful metaphor of this descent into a deeper state. It is a trip into a dreamland where only a few elements keep you still anchored in reality. The use of transparent glass only emphasizes this feeling, with its reflective abilities amplifying the dreamy feel.
We have often talked about the power of design in influencing emotions and wellbeing. Through the right use of textures, light, color and order, the designer can induce a state of happiness and relaxation or achieve any desired psychological response. The Jiyu Spa design is the perfect example of using spatial elements to do just that.
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