Skin Care Lab

Skin Care Lab

United States

Skin Care Lab

Messana O'Rorke as Other

Given a 2000 square foot rectilinear Soho loft with a twelve foot ceiling, in which to develop a complex project, the design was generated from a simple concept. Individual functional spaces would occupy the perimeter, creating a central volume, which itself would be dissected by a central axial wall dividing clients from service areas. Minimal details, sensual simple forms, ethereal intimate lighting, and masculine materials.

The reception of Skincare Lab acts in concert with the public corridor and is a transition to private rooms within. An oversized stainless steel door opens into a small lobby and aligns the public corridor with the axial south wall of the reception. The public entrance is a pair of etched glass doors with Skin Care Lab scribed in clear glass across the frosted doors at eye height, the doors are top lit by a continuous recessed light. Materially the entrance lobby is a microcosm of the space within; stainless steel, etched glass, white walls, and natural wood illuminated by indirect light; calm, serine and contemplative.

The reception is a large white hall with white furniture and a linear stainless steel reception desk opposite the entrance. On the wall behind the desk three narrow cantilevered white corian shelves displaying skin care products and to the left of the entrance is an alcove with deeper shelves, these are used to sample displayed products. Passing behind this axial wall the clients enter the day spa proper.

The treatment rooms and functional spaces of the spa are organized around the perimeter, forming a central hall which is bisected by a wall of stainless steel. This stainless steel element is segmented into individual floor to ceiling units between which vertical stripes of light emanate on the public side opposite the five treatment rooms. The vertical stripes of light, reminiscent of a Dan Flavin sculpture, march down the clean gallery like space, reflecting an ethereal light off the stainless steel and soft white walls and are duplicated infinitely through mirrors at either end of the space. It is anticipated that the color of the lights will be changed, using gels, to indicate seasons or holidays.

Two battered ornate columns of the original building structure stand in the twelve foot high central hall, they become massive obstacles around which clients traverse on their way to the treatment rooms. The treatment rooms are accessed directly from the main hall. They are intimate white spaces with light transfusing through etched glass walls from the private limestone shower rooms. The lighting is versatile, so that the practitioner can create the necessary ambiance.

Within the stainless steel dividing wall the bulk of the Spa's storage exists, accessed on the service side of the space. The repetition of the dividing wall is broken in three places to provide access to the private spaces beyond; the Nail Shop, the bath room, the staff room and the office. In the Nail Shop manicures and pedicures are performed on white leather banquettes, the foot spa is a raised stainless steel platform with individual foot baths.

The form of the space is expressed in white walls and light, this is accented by stainless steel, bleached natural wood, and limestone; the result is simple, ethereal and sensual.

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Project Credits
The Meadow Home
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The Meadow Home

Private Houses
Portola Valley, CA, USA - Build completed in 2016
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