Wellness: roots and future

In Beijing the Aqua Health Clinic pays contemporary tribute to ancient Chinese medicine through technological resources and a sculptural spatial configuration

Aqua Health Clinic, Beijing
Aqua Health Clinic, Beijing
DATA SHEET

Client: Aqua Health Clinic
Interior design: Waterfrom Design
Furnishings: Ton’s chairs and on design
Lightings: on design
Bathrooms: on design
Photo Credits: Kuomin Lee; LenmuG

Aqua Health Clinic is a place of wellbeing, silence and meditation that can be formally explained according to aesthetic principles very different from those usually applied in traditional Chinese medical clinics. Starting with the persistent odor of medicinal herbs, which is almost erased here to form a philosophical and decorative backdrop for graphic exercises and structural volumes that experiment with materials, torsions and sinuous profiles for the walls, generating a futuristic setting in which the suspension of space and time takes on an artistic aspect. 

The idea of Waterfrom Design pivots on the concept of “Exhibition of Frozen Time,” accompanying visitors into an underwater atmosphere, between sea blue screens, theatrical effects of light and shadow based on spatial and material characteristics, dried plants and samples of minerals isolated in the absolute silence of transparent display cases, variously lit to convey a sense of the conceptual space deployed by the English artist Damien Hirst to investigate the complex relations between life and death.

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The space of 280 square meters includes areas for consultation and therapeutic rituals, a tea room, baths, a storeroom and spaces for the staff. Clients are welcomed in a reception area very similar to the ticket zone of a museum, where a first long glass case acts as a seat, lighting up specimens of moss suspended inside it. The other spaces form a sequence paced by arches, vaults, surfaces that curve, interrupt and interpenetrate to reinvent scenarios and perspectives, where the substances are shaped to become furnishings.

The consulting area achieves minimalist aplomb with a long wooden table, matching the hue of the blue walls and the backlit panel composed of 88 glass containers containing blue liquid in different quantities and tones. In the adjacent room, a tea break can be enjoyed in front of a composition that suggests the rhythm of mountains, rain and fog, through thousands of vertically layered acrylic rods.

In the bathrooms copper covers the surfaces, from the worktop to the walls, but only at facial height does it have a polished finish, to unexpectedly reflect the visitors. Completely visible thanks to the glass walls of its luminous enclosure, the area for facial care rests on a raised platform, allowing the activities of the occupants to generate and project continuous movements of light and shadow.