A Rejuvenating Spa

Project: Anaha Spa at Shreyas Retreat, Bengaluru

Architects: The Purple Ink Studio, Bengaluru

Designed as a ‘retreat within a retreat’, the 20,000 sq ft spa block is a new ‘insert’ at the well-known yoga retreat in India that offers spectacular layers of spaces and experiences. The architectural vision was planned as a sustainable model, focusing strongly on the connect of man in the realm of nature.

The main block disappears into the earth and is half submerged, with the light and air movement planned from a series of sunken courts. The main area opens to several spaces which are planned to suit the smooth spatial transitions of the guests. The entire feel is organic with natural light washing the exposed walls and ceilings with a spectacular play of light and shadows. The spaces are further held together with a strong design language of handcrafted jaali screens, solid wooden doors and openings which merge the interior and exteriors, quite literally.

The guest lounge area opens to a central court with a water body on one side, and a sunken court on the other. Private consultation rooms are part of the main spaces, but are silently tucked away beside the water body. The spa block is a semi-detached sequence. Each spa room (measuring up to 600sq ft) is positioned to offer spectacular views of the surroundings, while concealing the view inside from the outside with local exposed brick jaali works as the shell.

The structure’s porous cell creates a softer environment inside and the private open-to-sky lounge spaces (for relaxation after treatment) bring in natural daylight into all spaces. With the spa offering an array of treatment options in the 10 massage rooms, one can experience the holistic Ayurveda treatments based on age-old therapies, or choose from the oriental and western offerings from the menu.

The landscape merges with the geometry of the network of the surrounding paths to form break-away spaces for the guests. These buffer zones create smooth transitions from the exterior to semi covered spaces, and offer a beautiful play of light. With each block growing from the sunken gardens into the sky, often blending into a series of greens, the organic approach fuses the inherent sense of lightness expected from a space so serene.

The feel is further exaggerated on the upper level, in the 2000sq ft meditation and yoga pavilion, with large openings on the east, allowing natural sunlight to create an ideal setting for the yoga sessions at sunrise. The large pavilion opens further to a series of private yoga and meditation spaces offering varied settings using the natural play of light and shadows against the roof jaalis or screens.

Fact File

Client: Inner Challenges Pvt Ltd

Design team: Akshay Heranjal, Aditi Pai, Jaikumar, Nishita Bhatia, Priyanka Bankapur

Design program: Spa block (insert) in an existing yoga retreat

Built-up area: 20,000sq ft

Year of completion: 2016