Hillside Spa

spatial design

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The Brief: To create a multi functional outhouse building for a home in Surrey. It's plot began as a steep verge between the properties home at the top of the hill and its poolside border at its base. The structures boundaries were dictated by the surrounding pipe work that lay buried within the hillside of the property.

This left us with approx 54msq to create a space that would efficiently house a variety of the clients requirements. The wish list for the space included a Spa Sauna, luxury shower area accompanied by a changing room and WC, bar and entertaining area, an area for family time along with a multi functional gym and exercise area.

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The left hand face and the rear corner of the footprint were mostly buried, offering least exposure to natural light and making it the ideal area to allocate to the spa and changing space/WC, spaces that require the most privacy. Making the most of this confined space I chose glass partitions to separate the shower and sauna while maintaining an open an spacious feel.The rest of the space remains open however, when chosen, can easily be divided into two areas partitioned by a foldout wooden wall.

When not in use this wall is easily hidden away into the cavity of the building offering an open spacious room. When the partition is extended it creates two separate spaces (B) and (C) enhancing the chosen experience offered by the space be it privacy, focus or comfort. These areas combined offer all other requirements form the brief.

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Stepping into the w/c & changing room area you are greeted by a tall wood clad surround, filled with natural light from above, one way windows maximise natural light whilst providing privacy. To one side, a mirrored wall supports a generous sink unit with storage shelving and a changing bench. A w/c and sink unit float off the ground enhancing the volume of the room. As the only poolside area the full height mirror, bench and coat hooks every effort has been made to create a spacious and functional changing space.

Walking through the tinted black glass entrance to the luxury spa introduces an entirely different environment. Low level mood lighting and textured slate walls create an almost cave-like environment. Carved into the slate walls are heated towels shelves maximising storage space. In front, an almost invisible glass partition runs from wall to wall and floor to ceiling containing the warmth of the sauna.

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Nestled in the dark stone of the room, the 6 person sauna bench has been ergonomically designed and laid in. Built from a rich red cedar wood It's vibrant natural colour stands as a welcoming contrast to the cold dark stone.The dimly lit bespoke lighting combine with the materials of the interior aims to transport the user.

As you approach the glass sauna wall the room will appear to open up even further as the steam proof mirror, running from floor to ceiling at 1 metre wide reflects the room back onto itself giving the appearance that the room is twice its size. the spacious 1x1.5m square shower boasts a multi functional 800x800 rain shower that also offers a waterfall flow option, perfect for the after sauna cold water dunk.

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The central space has been designed open planned for entertaining guests. The area opens with modular soft seating that can be arranged in a variety of ways dependent on the use of the space. Each modular unit contains storage within maximising space and function. A granite breakfast bar flows out from the wall and down to the ground sheltering space for 4 people to sit whilst softly lit from the pendant lights above. This feature lighting offers the host a choice of lighting to support the mood of the evening be it open or intimate.

As a keen entertainer, a key feature of the entertainment area was the drinks. To facilitate this I have brought in a tall glass front display wine fridge from WOLF that is easily adjusted to hold and display a wall of premium beer at the optimum temperature between 12-14C. White wine can be chilled in a lower compartment for guests who favour the grape. It holds two draws including a large freezer draw for ice and frozen desserts for the kids and big kids.

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The sunken Stainless Steele sink lies below a pull out rinse tap for quick and easy glass cleaning. As a small space, special attention has been paid to maximise the use of storage space. Pull out draws reveal recycling and waste organisers along with a whole host of functional storage solutions.

To save even more space, Red wine is hung on the wall using sculptural storage adding to the minimalist feel of the space. Both the breakfast bar and cabinets are a displayed in a rich Walnut finish common in Australian architecture and complimented by the rooms neutral surroundings and light oak floor.

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When engaging in the gym zone one simply draws out and unfolds the pull out wall to separate the spaces. This creates a focused activity zone keeping acoustics confined out of consideration for others and motivation for gym users.

Using the partition allows the option for two zones to hold separate activities at the same time. When finished the partition simply folds away back into the cavity of the wall and out of site.

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Upon first glance the Gym area seems almost empty with an open floor space leading up to a large mirrored wall reflecting the room back onto itself. Alongside this mirror sits a purpose built storage wall, similar to the bespoke clothing storage seen in the top left image above our gym wall hugs such items as a Swiss ball, a spinning bike, spare trainers, towel,

skipping rope, kettle bells, dumb bells, books and much more. LED strips hide beneath the shelves for that luxury gym feel at night. Hidden between this storage unit and partition wall you will find a slither that is a generous 1 x 2m yoga matt that simply draws out and lays down adding to the use of the space and the equipment. Sound is very important within this space.

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The kinesis not only acts as a mirror making the space feel bigger but provides an incredible amount of work out regimes. With specific relation to the client the Kinesis helps develop the areas of the body used in tennis, golf and cricket.

The user has the option of using the built in Sonos speakers to listen to playlist's from their phone or to plug their phone in to the large portable speakers as seen in the image above. Once the work out is complete all equipment fold away flat against the wall.

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When not used as a gym, the space offers a host of other uses. Due to the rear window above the storage wall and the bi-folding glass doors that stretch the length of the building the space receives an abundance of natural light. Once wish from the client was to have a space that he could

sit and read with his children in peace. Two bolts subtly sit either side of the gym space that when connected will hold a family sized hammock. Simply connect both hooks of the hammock to one wall bolt folding the hammock in half against the wall to store it.

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All materials and interior accessories have been chosen with the client and purpose in mind. A subtle channel runs the length of the building redirecting any poolside water that makes it to the perimeter. Light Oak flooring has been treated to resist water damage and increase grip for wet feet.

White walls stand in contrast to the both the richness of the wooden cladding and the bold matt grey steel frame work of the doors and windows. The goal of this small space was to keep an open and spacious feel whilst making it as functional as possible.

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The building itself sits in between two access points connecting you from both the house and driveway. Plans were put on the table to create a roof terrace and viewing platform above the structure (as seen in the images below) however to increase privacy and reduce construction costs these plans were developed. Instead we turned the roof into a living garden making the building almost invisible within the landscape when seen

from the properties first floor. The steps to the left of the structure plateau half hay up opening up to offer a bench that faces the tennis courts. Waterproof cushioning maintain comfort whilst the seat lifts up for extra storage. The court fencing protects onlookers from stray tennis balls for optimum viewing.

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Many thanks to Ben Lark for his fantastic visuals. For more information on this project or projects like it please contact James via the Contact page here