It’s everything you’re looking for in a space to retreat to. It has all the calming elements of white and height with the spatial simplicity of a Japanese Dojo. The uncluttered nature of both this design and the effect it has on the clarity of one’s mind is impressive. This is unmistakably a space for immersing yourself in meditation and self-reflection; reconnecting you to your body and mind, not to mention your soul. There are few things as beautiful in architecture as the simplicity of design expressed with pared-back materials, in a space exceptionally well planned.
If you’re looking for an example, Willow Urban Retreat, designed by Melbourne-based Meme Design, will do just fine. “Our process was to explore through the practice of design and how we can actively contribute to human health, performance and well-being by integrating the best innovations in building technologies, materials, planning and programming for a space that soothes the senses,” said interior designer Megan Hounslow about the project.
Willow Urban Retreat consists of a whole food cafe, movement and meditation studio, day spa and detox facility. It is housed in two double-story heritage buildings in High Street, Armadale, Victoria. In the left building you’ll find the café and on the right, the spa and wellness centre. Working within the two narrow buildings, the titles are joined and opened up to maximise space, volume and natural light. They’ve achieved this through the insertion of an oversized arch to the shopfront.