Walton St, London
The 2,000sqft House is organised over three floors; providing ‘living’, ‘learning’ and ‘dreaming’. On the ground floor retail area there’s a ‘sitting room’ instead of a reception area and in the lower ground floor ‘guest rooms’ instead of therapy rooms. On the first floor, in the stunning ‘Sky Parlour’ – where arching skylights capture the clouds above – dark mirrored pods conceal the toilet and kitchen areas.
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.
With 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.
Magic and illusion are at the heart of the design. An elegant, floating golden staircase – formed out of folded steel sections then “veneered” in patternised brass sheets – 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 the shower spaces with glass ceilings to a secret garden.
Central to the brief was to create an inviting and comfortable home-away-from-home and this concept informs the choice of materials, furniture and lighting. The walls are lined with bespoke struck render panels and the floors covered with an artisan wood floor. As in a house, there is little evidence of operations or clue as to the use of many of the spaces: storage for products, laundry and housekeeping are hidden behind domestic elements such as a hand painted silk panelled wall that runs practically the length of the building.
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.
Photo credit: Will Scott