Situated on four floors of the Corinthia Hotel in London, ESPA Life offers just what it promises: a next-generation spa experience. The client asked G|A Design International to deliver an intimate, elegant, and decadent setting in which its guests could indulge in the luxuries of top-notch health treatments, personal training, and grooming. The firm responded with a layered approach, crafting four distinct experiences, one for each floor. A polished marble staircase connects each of the spa's levels and is lit with linear LED fixtures. As the spa descends from the first floor to the subterranean levels, the finishes become darker. Lighting Design International's challenge was to develop complementary lighting schemes for each of the project's varying settings.
The designers took an integrated approach to the lighting scheme, relying entirely on LEDs as a light source. Throughout the spa, linear fixtures housed in ceiling coffers produce a warm, indirect glow. Concealed linear luminaires graze the wall surfaces, making use of both uplight and downlight applications, which accentuate the rich textural nature of the finishes—finishes that include hand-cast resin panels, rusticated stone, marble, and fabrics.
The only daylight comes through a domed glass-and-silver-leaf roof at the juice bar on the first floor. In contrast, the finishes for the spa's lowest level are almost entirely black. The darkness creates a dramatic setting for the stainless steel swimming pool. The space is lit entirely with LED uplights, embedded either in the floor or in the pool itself, where they shine through the water, creating mesmerizing patterns on the white ceiling.
Jury Comments: Clean, careful work. • Elegant details that pay attention to the richness of the materials and provide a hierarchy to the space. • Uplight on the pool is impressive.