Wellness by Design – Willow Urban Retreat
The many-faceted offerings of Willow Urban Retreat define its tranquil presence as a haven for health, connection and self-improvement.
The retreat is designed to serve guests with a diverse choice of remedies for the body and mind that range from spa treatments, movement and meditative practices to naturopathy and acupuncture. It takes an in-depth understanding of what a visitor to this space might intend to seek, both tangibly and emotionally, to create an architectural response that will support this intention.
Architect Melanie Beynon and interior designer Megan Hounslow, working together as Meme during the time of the project, identify through their design of Willow Urban Retreat the exceptional impact our surroundings can make to our state of being. “Our process explored how space, light and materiality can actively contribute to human health, performance and well-being,” describes Megan.
Restored facades of the retained Victorian shopfronts meet the streetscape with a presence reminiscent of the building’s original decadence. A textural concrete render introduces the interiors palette within, while the existing arches set a precedence for the construction of the internal forms that follow. From the exterior, there are hints as to the level of consideration that has been expressed throughout this design, but it is impossible to grasp the detail entirely without stepping foot inside.