The award-winning team behind an inspirational new Chelsea spa have turned the idea of the spa on its head by cleverly swapping a typical environment for the feel of a house. With 30 years in the spa and wellness sector and 100 worldwide spa and wellness projects under its belt, Melt Design Hub in collaboration with Lázaro Rosa-Violán Studio have created a leading new lifestyle destination. Working closely with Gazelli founder and creative director, Jamila Askarova, to bring her vision for the concept to life - where the traditional design format for health and wellbeing clubs is replaced with the comfort and feeling of a residential house.
This extraordinary home from home at Gazelli House, Walton Street has been designed so that it feels more as if the homeowner has just popped out for lunch. An elaborate brief – complicated by the fact the building is based in an urban conservation area – the bespoke design has challenged preconceptions by creating an ‘anti-spa’, replacing the white washed walls, reception desks and product displays of a run-of-the-mill spa with a series of homely rooms. Organised over three floors, on the ground floor retail area there’s a ‘sitting room’ instead of a reception area and in the basement ‘guest rooms’ instead of therapy rooms, with linen-lined beds and storage units concealed behind sliding doors.
On the first floor, in the stunning ‘Sky Parlour’ – where arching skylights capture the clouds above – sumptuous mirrored walls conceal the toilet and kitchen areas. Magic and illusion are at the heart of the design and the fantastical, floating golden staircase that links all the floors at the building’s heart, and topped with book lined walls, it is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland.
Tiny from the outside, the highly-choreographed building opens up and out into a series of rooms, from hot shower cubicles with glass ceilings to a garden terrace, straight out of a Spanish ‘terraza’. Melt Design Hub were responsible for the design and realisation of many of the architectural elements within the space - including the staircase: “the stair was always going to be a focal point as it links the guest journey through the House, we’ve created a piece of sculpture made from folded bronze plate, it’s almost ribbon-like floating through the space, and a beguiling mix of the modern and traditional’ - The laid back feel belies the intricate and painstaking detailing of every plane and surface finish. It’s a house and a destination, a highly crafted piece that appears almost accidental” - an abject lesson in making the complex look simple. Gazelli House provides a full wellbeing solution from bespoke skincare treatments via specialist consultations and therapies, to educational events, informal supper clubs and book swaps.