"DII is a brand-new affiliation of an international award-winning Thai Spa “DIVANA” who is known for its mastering in traditional Thai massage techniques. DII offers a young and modern twist to DIVANA’s traditional Asian character with extra emphasis in cutting-edge medical and aesthetic innovation. Department of ARCHITECTURE was called to design DII flagship store that must address not only DII’s innovative medicine technology beneficial to the body, but also DIVANA’s relaxation massage expertise beneficial for the mind.
The store is in Bangkok newest luxury complex – Central Embassy, with rather limited shop-front visible from the main atrium. To contrast with stark white finishes of the complex, the lobby was designed in sleek black with brightly-lit vertical features demanding attention from afar. Five spiral acrylic columns stretch endlessly on the reflective ceiling and polished black floor, and vanish endlessly on black mirror walls, giving an illusion of spatial complexity. These acrylic features inspired from DNA double helix symbolize DII’s medical innovation.
The major challenge was the size of the store which was very limited for the client’s brief of 5 en-suite spa treatment rooms, 2 clinics, a lobby and 2 back-of-house rooms. The spa internal section was then straight-forwardly planned as a narrow corridor connecting all functions.
In order to blur boundary definition of such tight space, all corridor walls were designed in black mirror while the floor is polished black stone. Thousands of crystal droplets randomly hung brightly catch light from neatly hidden light source; reflect onto reflective walls and floor, giving an illusion of spatial infinity. Guests are asked to close their eyes before walking into the corridor. When they open their eyes, the theatricality of glittering crystals amidst sharp darkness astonishingly evokes their sensory experience, perhaps otherworldly or into their innermost mind.
In spa treatment rooms, countless crystals are installed on entire ceiling reflecting slowly color-changing light that ranges from warm white to deep turquoise and to ultramarine. The lighting installation effect evokes surreal sensation open to an individual’s imagination and memory. These perhaps include heavy rain freshness, soothing underwater feel, or astronomical excitement.
DII flagship store is our answer to the brand modern positioning which efficiently utilizes limited space, but also our attempt to choreograph material, space, and light to evoke sensory aspect of the experiences."