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Friday, April 28, 2017

Space for the mind and the soul!

Compiled by Divya Chand
Photography: Shamanth Patil J; courtesy the architects
Read Time: 2 mins
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An ode to minimalist design and simplistic materials, Anaha Spa provides a serene yet luxurious refuge.

An addition to Shreyas Retreat, a well-known boutique resort and luxury ashram at Bengaluru, The Purple Ink Studio has designed this 20,000 sq. ft. ‘retreat-in-retreat’ combining the raw, unfinished character of exposed brick and concrete to form a charismatic serene abode.

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The main block sits partially submerged into the ground, reducing its imposition on the landscape; whilst creating carefully designed sunken courts on all sides. The approach to the main area slowly opens up a plethora of spaces, which are programmatically planned to suit the smooth spatial transitions of the guests.

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The spa blocks, each up to 600 sq. ft, are seen as a semi-detached sequence, derived out of the symbolic hand gesture of an open palm (the mudra), with interim spaces landscaped to form green courts. Inclined walls juxtapose the built form to form a strong architectural vocabulary that fuses the structure into the surrounding landscape. These, along with a courtyard hosting a water body, filter abundant natural lighting into the main block infusing it with an aura of serenity.

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Once inside, vastness of space is anointed with soft treatment to walls, tiled and carpeted flooring and a subtle play of sunlight filtering in through an ingeniously exposed brick jaaliThe guest lounge opens up to a central court with water body on one side, and to a sunken court on the other. Private consultation rooms are part of the main spaces, but are silently tucked away beside the water body.

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Yoga and meditation spaces are relegated to the upper floor, where east-facing openings usher in the soft morning sun and a pavilion structure endowed with playful chiaroscuro provides a sense of drama.

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The abode has a raw organic character with spaces held together with a strong design language of hand-crafted jaali screens, solid wood doors and free flowing openings.

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The unique building outline helps conserve the existing trees on site. The uneven geometry leads to formation of semi-covered buffer zones and enables a weaving of the open and the built mass. The smooth transition from the greens to the tranquillity of the built form provides the inherent sense of lightness that would be expected from a wellness centre sitting, quite literally, in the lap of nature.

Fact File:
Project name: Anaha Spa at Shreyas Retreat
Client: Inner Challenges Pvt Ltd
Design program: Spa block (insert) in an existing yoga retreat
Architecture, Interiors & Landscape: The Purple Ink Studio           
Design Team: Akshay Heranjal, Aditi Pai, Jaikumar, Nishita Bhatia, Priyanka Bankapur
Original site area: 26 acres
Built up area: 20,000 sqft
Location: Bengaluru

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