by Anmol AhujaNov 02, 2020
At first glance, this industrial space looks like a chic restaurant or a bar. Upon closer inspection, one realises that it’s a uniquely positioned wellness centre. One of the first things that catches the eye is the space’s gently undulating walls, lined with a collage of vertical transparent glass rods. Design studio Formafatal has imagined the interiors of a one-of-a-kind holistic wellness centre in Prague, Czech Republic. This distinctive space is intended for the Institute of Natural Medicine, Cellularium, a part of the entrance floor of the new building—Main Point Pankrác (MPP). Here, a carefully considered play of materials and textures creates a grounded space for the wellness centre’s varied treatments.
Facilitating state-of-the-art healing practices in a cutting-edge space, the centre is perfect for patrons who wish to be encompassed by an aesthetically treated space, heightened by calming hues and unique silhouettes. The main area of this holistic wellness centre, known as SPA, measures approximately 1,600 square feet and features separate changing rooms along with accompanying spaces for three treatment procedures—a Finnish sauna, a cryosauna, and an airflow therapy space.
After booking with the Institute of Natural Medicine, Cellularium, guests can expect to be nurtured, healed, and supported while enjoying a serene setting. Visitors are welcomed into this immersive, mood-boosting space through a reception area, representative of the design language of the centre. The industrial design aesthetic—which punctuates the entire space—conjures an air of relaxed luxury. A separate circular cell, the doctor's office, is inserted into the entrance foyer, which also serves as a waiting room. While the reception and doctor’s office have a neutral colour palette, the rest of the wellness centre exhibits dark, intriguing hues. The doctor’s office ensconces a minimal space with open, metal mesh shelves and sleek furnishings. Load-bearing, sloping concrete columns serve as a fun design element in the space. The SPA area is characterised by dark tones and smooth screed on surfaces, together with plenty of sunlight. The design studio crafts the nurse's and the doctor's offices in soft light shades so as to not distract the visitor.
The primary challenge for Formafatal was that the space did not feature any flat walls, and was vertically interwoven with inclined load-bearing columns. “This was not an easy task for designing the interiors and furniture, which is completely made according to custom design. In the course of the design, we emphasised the soft form of the walls with simple yet creative claddings. The outer wall of the doctor’s office is covered by vertically divided steel sheets, which are transformed into a smooth surface with built-in doors. The vertical division reflects on the exterior façade of the MPP building. This organising principle continues in the SPA area—all three main rooms are covered with transparent glass rods. The shades of the gradient also foreshadow the different functions of the space—red is the symbol of the sauna (fire), blue is the symbol of the cryosauna (ice), and grey is the symbol of the air therapy (wind),” mentions Dagmar Štěpánová, lead designer and founder of Formafatal.
The Prague-based creative firm focused on architecture, interior design, exhibition installations and product design approaches all its projects individually and with a focus on the client’s specific requirements. “The interiors of the Institute of Natural Medicine, Cellularium, were clearly defined by the client. Nevertheless, we had space for creativity, but we also worked with a limited budget. The original idea was to use custom glass bars, where the glass would be coloured into the gradient. However, it could not be realised due to the budget constraints. But I did not want to give up on this idea, so we came up with an alternative that the wall would be painted in a gradient and in front of the wall we set up a mass-produced clear glass rod. The result is certainly not the same, but it is very similar to the initial idea,” adds Štěpánová.
The holistic wellness centre’s hallways that lead to the different treatment rooms feature black walls, suspended vertical wooden rods from the ceiling, and arresting, sun-like lighting installations. This helps in crafting a restful space for the guests. The bathroom and resting area also feature the same industrial vibe with mesh shelves and modern sanitaryware.
Furthermore, the centre’s changing rooms comprise a unique lighting design and have a similar dark-coloured palette as the rest of the SPA area. Formafatal used the same materials, forms and hues throughout the area to create a cohesive outlook. “Using a semicircular back made of perforated backlit sheet metal next to the mirrors, we lit up the small circular locker rooms in a play of light and shadow, again with a grid of vertical strips. We repeated all these principles and materials in other modified forms throughout the interior to achieve a harmonious whole,” adds Dagmar.
Moreover, this unique wellness centre also showcases Studio Formafatal’s close attention to detail. Each corner of the space has been thoughtfully crafted keeping the visitors' experience in mind. “I don’t really have a favourite place in the wellness centre, but I particularly love some elements such as the glass cladding at the top of the concrete, the drinking fountain in the relaxation zone, and the light effect in a small dressing room,” concludes Štěpánová.
Name: MPP Cellularium
Location: Main Point Pankrác, Prague 4, Czech Republic
Client: Institute of Natural Medicine, Cellularium
Design: Studio Formafatal
Architects: Dagmar Štěpánová and Martina Homolková
Usable floor area: 155 sqm
Collaborators: Screed surfaces: Different Design; Glass bar wallcovering, tailor made furniture according to the Formafatal design: Hast; Lighting planification, supply of luminaires: Bulb