Smart Design | February 2012
Padmini Pandey and her team recreate the experience of walking in the woods at the Suara Spa in Juhu, Mumbai.
There is nothing as rejuvenating as a walk in the woods, and this experience is being offered in the midst of the urban jungle by Suara, a brand new spa at the Sea Princess hotel in Juhu, Mumbai. The spa has been designed by a young and enthusiastic design firm headed by Padmini Pandey. “We believe in not just designing a project and creating a ‘wow’ factor but in also creating an ambience that tickles the senses of the users of the space,” says Pandey. At Suara, she has successfully created a sensory experience for its visitors through the design.
Breaking the clichés
Right from the choice of materials to the planning of the space, every aspect of the design treads towards putting the customer at ease and transporting her to a world of relaxed pampering. “We purposely kept away from the clichéd spa designs that have become ubiquitous lately, full of oriental flavours, bright colours and overwhelming interiors. We wanted to create an ambience that is close to a natural environment; an ambience that does not overpower the visitor, instead puts him at ease,” shares Pandey. The abundant use of white at Suara promotes this look. It also provides a great backdrop for the green turf that has been used in the lounge and on the wall cavities, which have been custom-designed to resemble leaves being carried by the wind. “The pattern of the leaves being carried away by wind gives a very fairytale feel, and also leads the visitor inside to an oasis of wellbeing,” Pandey says.
As the customer steps in, she is gently enveloped by wood, thanks to the wooden flooring that extends on to the walls. To the imaginative, it can recreate the feeling of walking in the woods. The green turf seen beyond in the lounge area, the Corian wall with the green cavities and the corridor with the wooden walls and leafy patterns all contribute to the feeling of being in a natural environment.
Custom-designed white chairs seat the waiting guests who are then guided to the lounge that hosts the fruit bar, the foot spa and the feet cleansing basins. This is where the pampering begins! One can walk on the turf, which has been very carefully selected to offer the feel of real grass, or simply lounge around in the greenery that extends on to the fruit bar counter and the wall behind it. Pendant lights that look like falling drops of water find place in the corner and silently add their own charm to the ambience. As one goes further towards the treatment rooms, the wooden walls are replaced by the Corian ones.
The right angle
The treatment rooms have a cosy ambience, with their highlight being the mosaic pattern on the wall and ceiling. “We chose floral patterns for the mosaic – rose for the couple spa and white flowers for the other rooms – to go with the woods theme,” says Pandey. The spa beds have been custom designed keeping in mind the movement of the masseur, so that both the client and masseur would be at ease. The odd shape of the spaces has been matched with the odd shape of the furniture. The spa also has some angular walls, which play an important role in the experience of the space. All the walls in the common areas like the lounge and passages slant outwards, lending a feel of openness to the visitor, while all the private spaces like the treatment rooms and powder room slant inwards, offering a cosy experience.
With a strong concept for creating an eco spa, Pandey and her team have successfully created an oasis of comfort through minimal use of materials, appropriate choice of soothing patterns and materials, and a passionate design approach.
Meet the architect: Padmini Pandey
Firm: Studio Padmini Pandey, founded in February 2011.
Firm specialisation: Hospitality, residential and corporate spaces.
Design philosophy: Life is the keystone of my design.
Philosophy towards life: Live beautifully, live responsibly – at work, home and society.
Favourite architect/Designer: Sanjay Puri and Marco Piva.
Total Area: 2,000 sq ft
Text: Sumisha Arora
Photo credit: Prashant Bhat
Studio Padmini Pandey, 610/C Wing, Kukreja Residency, WT Patil Marg, Near RK Circle, Chembur, Mumbai-400 071.
Tel: 022-2521 6058. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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