Hong Kong based architecture studio Cheungvogl has created an open exhibition retail space around a robotic system within the restoration of the 110 year old iconic department store, Au Pont Rouge in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The recently completed addition of a spa and treatment concept extends the social hub experience of Au Pont Rouge.
Inside the spa and treatment areas, one room is dedicated to self-reflection and the art of selfies. The “Selfie Room”, a testing and sample room, creates a stage for visitors to feel like performers, models and directors of the self-image at the same time. The space features a long mirror wall, reflecting in the background is a curved mesh that filters indirect lighting. The light is designed to illuminate the faces perfectly without shadows. Upon entry, visitor experiences a light tunnel with continuous reflections. Animating the self-reflection within the abstract context, one is driven and inspired to act, document and ultimately share the moment. The space merges the online and offline experience of visitors and brands. By sharing the self-image through social media, visitors create 15-minute fame for themselves and advertisement space for the brand within their social networks. In the shared posts, the brand itself is only apparent in the Geotag. The ‘Selfie Room’ is a physical social media advertising space and a creative playground for self-reflection.
The spa and treatment areas continue the simple materiality of the Au Pont Rouge Galleries, utilizing translucent glass, white resin and metal meshed ceiling. Translucent fixed and sliding panels are used to define openness and privacy between the scenic city views overlooking Moika River and the centre of the restored historical structure. Between the city life and the variety of offers and activities in Au Pont Rouge, the spa becomes a retreat from the fast pace - a slow space in between. Inside the tranquillity, the changing daylight becomes the only indicator of time. To engage with the public and customers, the treatment facilities are designed to house a variety of events, such as screenings, workshops, presentations and talks.