Creating an Aura

Project: Aura Spa at the Park Hotel, Hyderabad

Architects: Khosla Associates, Bangalore

The Park Hotel’s latest property in Hyderabad has a central theme of a contemporary palace and several designers from across the world were commissioned to design its varied spaces using the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad’s jewels as inspiration. A particularly uninspiring space devoid of natural light and ventilation in the basement of the hotel was converted into a sparkling environment inspired by the sheen, transparency, and whiteness of the Golconda Diamond.

The entrance curved corridor walls of the spa were built out of edge polished vertically stacked glass, leading to a circular reception area with a fluid reception counter and relaxed customer seating sheathed in Ram-amrutham moulded white resin. A wooden staircase from the pool level also descends into the central womb like reception zone. The stacked glass walls glow from within with LED light giving the surrounding spaces a feeling of lightness. Surrounding this sparkling central core on the north are the spacious male and female wet areas with locker facilities, change rooms and a large jacuzzi and lanconium. On the south is a gym and a salon. Further west from the reception is a spacious transitionary area leading gently to a sensuous curved relaxation area and a series of well-appointed therapy rooms and suites.

The minimalist transition areas in the spa are peppered with carefully chosen pieces of mirrored organic sculpture by French artist Yahel Chirinian. The reflection of spot lights on these mirrored form deflects onto wall, floor and ceiling surfaces giving an etherial feel to the space.In the circular relaxation area comfortable loungers are divided by sheer white curtains bathed in pre-programmed washes of LED light. Reflecting VIBGYOR colours, the sheer fabric assists in Chromotherapy.

The entrance wall and doors of the treatment rooms are clad in an embossed silver foil, and the curved walls of treatment rooms in a padded diamond shaped pearl white fabric, adding to the feel of luxury within the space. The futuristic rooms are contrasted with period chairs lending a hint of nostalgia to the space. The circular bathroom capsules are clad with delicate pearl white glass mosaic tiles. Curved white day beds in the suites are accented by mirrored zari work cushions.The material pallette plays on varied tones of white to enhance the feeling of openness, and built in washes of light in coves, on fabric, textured paint and moulded white resin uplift the space further.

Curved walls seamlessly flow into one another and soothe stressed minds. Elements like the embossed silver foil wall, the eclectic period chairs in the treatment rooms and the padded diamond shaped fabric as upholstery offset the otherwise futuristic interior, subtly echoing Hyderabad’s royal past in a city moving rapidly into the future.

Fact File

Client: The Park Hotels

Design team: Sandeep Khosla, Amaresh Anand and Dhaval S

Built-up area: 8,000 sq ft

Year of completion: 2010