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Bangkok’s day spa scene gets a taste of Space Popular

Infinity Wellbeing by Space Popular is a spa of contrasts that offers respite from the chaos of Bangkok.

Bangkok—a city of chaos, contrast and colour. Inasmuch as people revel in the beautiful cacophony of the city, they also understandably seek respite from it. Offering a slice of reprieve along one of the sois (side streets) off Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Road is Infinity Wellbeing, a new entrant to the city’s day spa scene.

The spa is Infinity’s second outlet in Bangkok and was similarly designed by Space Popular. As the founders of Space Popular Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg share, Infinity Wellbeing continues the brand’s “modern approach to wellness where lightness, both visually and physically, is important.”

The approach to the spa was designed as a play of contrasts. The busyness of the street is affronted by a belt of lush tropical foliage that beckons passersby into the spa. Once inside the spa, patrons are transported into a cool oasis, and the chaos of the street (not to mention the hulking heft of the hotel carpark it sits under) is quickly forgotten.

The arrival space, which overlooks the garden, provides a first taste of Space Popular’s clever manipulation of materials to create a differentiated experience. A cool palette of white and pale green with accents of copper rises to greet guests, warding off the heat and humidity of the exterior. Smooth stone surfaces are juxtaposed with the airy lightness of fabric panels. In the ceiling, scallops of metal mesh and translucent cotton bring a softness to the space while modulating light into a gentle glow.

In this setting, a central reception area is surrounded by five different seating areas. Loose furniture like the chairs and tables are characterised by thick, mint green metal tubes paired with light petroleum blue upholstery.

“All the furniture is designed by us in close collaboration with fabricators. This is important, especially at a spa, as furniture is ultimately the only object you interact with directly with your body,” share Lesmes and Hellberg of their second collection of furniture to date. “The haptic experience of a chair or a handle will often overpower or even work in opposition to the visual experience if not designed together holistically.”

From the arrival space, guests are ushered along corridors clad in wooden fins towards the treatment rooms. In a gesture that is as slick as it is economical, opposing sides of the fins are painted in two different colours so that respective tones are exposed on arrival and departure.

Three types of treatment rooms offer a range of experiences. The suites that face the garden through switchable privacy glass panels are divided into two areas. The wet area with a steam shower and toilet is treated with pale pink terrazzo and textured plaster surfaces. The massage and lounge area in contrast is cloaked in dark blue and sandwiched between acoustic wall panels.

Overhead, embedded in the grid of packaging foam on the ceiling is a witty statement about the city. “Throughout all spaces, tailor-made materials and objects are combined in delicate ways with affordable, off-the-shelf materials such as packaging foam, a contrast often seen throughout Bangkok, which despite its abundance of luxury and shine manages to maintain its agility and inventiveness through its market and street food culture,” the studio shares.

In another suite, a slivered view of a pebbled landscape and a ziggurat ceiling culminating in a mock skylight creates an impression of the outdoors. It is world unto itself and adeptly makes up for the lack of a garden view. In light of the bigger picture, the suite is characteristic of the intent and wit with which Space Popular has designed the spa.

Photography by Wison Tungthunya

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