French country charm lures mall shoppers into day spa
SPA MIRBEAU | Colonie Center, Albany, NY, US
completed November 2017
size 17,188 sf
Contributing Shop! member:
TPG Architecture design/architecture
Masronry facades evoke French country style for a French-inspired café, Le bistro, and a retail boutique. The statement revitalizes the shopping center locale while debuting a day-resort format for Spa Mirbeau, a wellness brand known for its French country-inspired destination spa resorts. The spaces are framed with rusticated stone and robin’s-egg-blue multipane French doors, along with ivory-toned, hand-troweled plaster and dark European oak paneling. In the retail shop, traditionally detailed armoires in a distressed wood finish house lotions, fragrances, and accessories. Such design touches unify the retail shop, bistro, spa services, and social interaction areas to reflect the Mirbeau brand and create a new service format for malls and shopping centers.
Existing mall skylights were leveraged to create a sense of exterior courtyards for the Aqua Terrace and the Bistro. The site features 14 spa treatment rooms, sauna and steam rooms, a meditative resting area, studios for spinning, fitness and yoga, and a social “aqua terrace” with a pool lounge and bar area.
The spa complex has three points-of entry: an exterior entrance from the parking lot directly into the Spa, an entry through the Bistro, and an entry through the retail store. Guests visiting the spa from the mall circulate through a connecting corridor to bring them to the main Spa entry without passing through spa service areas.
A lower light level in the spa services zone sets the tone for relaxation. Guests enter the locker rooms and shower/sauna/steam rooms, on to the resting area. The moodily lit resting area then leads to peaceful treatment rooms or the social buzz of the “aqua terrace” under a sky-lit ceiling.
The resting area serves as a transition point through which all guests pass. This progression of spaces and moods affects the shift in psychologically from the buzz of the mall and stress of daily activity into a relaxed sanctuary.
The dramatically scaled gas fireplaces in the resting area and Aqua Terrace, along with smaller fireplaces in all of the treatment rooms, serve to reinforce the warmth of the Mirbeau character.