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Architects Tsao & McKown design vast wellness resort for China
By Kim Megson 22 Apr 2016
Architecture practice Tsao & McKown are designing the 189,000sq m (2m sq ft) luxury wellness retreat along Yangcheng Lake in China
Architecture practice Tsao & McKown are designing a 189,000sq m (2m sq ft) luxury wellness retreat along Yangcheng Lake outside of Suzhou, China, due to open in Q3 2016.

The project is being built through Octave – a development company owned by studio co-founder Calvin Tsao that is dedicated to creating wellness communities.

The retreat, called Sangha, will be comprised of residences, hotels and learning spaces. A 69-guestroom hotel offers a platform for wellbeing works, including an integrated medicine assessment and treatment centre, mind-body practice, coaching and counselling, spa, medi-spa and mindful dining.

Adjacent to the wellbeing hotel will be a village quarter that houses an executive education and learning complex, designed for deep group learning experiences.

The retreat will include a 6,000sq m (64,583sq ft) spa with treatments from massages to colonics, as well as a 1,200sq m (12,917sq ft) hammam, wet spa, steam room, saunas and night walks.

“Because the spa space is all about the environment and relocation and introspection it’s rather fantastical, I would say,” said Tsao. “It’s a subterranean space pierced with skylights – and the ceiling undulates. There are all sorts of bells and whistles.”

Sangha is heavily influenced by Confucian thought, including ideas of relationships with self, community, society and nature, which are incorporated in the design brief.

“Confucian thought is mainly about a methodology: priorities and values,” said Tsao. “These imbue the design process through the relationship between the different components. Suzhou is big, but it isn't a muscle-flexing, ‘look at me’ type of design. We wanted it to be retiring and introspective.

“In the design, the way we've organised spaces is meant to encourage congregation as well as individual contemplation, so there are quiet places, reclusive areas where people can retire for meditation and introspection.”

Octave has already built the Shanghai Living Room, a prototype and incubator for Sangha.

“We’re new to this and we needed to test drive it, so this was a small litmus test,” said Tsao. “It’s a microcosm, with everything surrounding an internal courtyard. There's a balance between inside and outside spaces.”

The Living Room features mind and body wellness programmes that are both about personal and group life-coaching, as well as children’s early learning courses, yoga, tai chi, boxing, nutritional counselling, and integrated Eastern-Western medicine clinic, and an eatery and standalone cafe that focus on healthy eating, with fresh ingredients from a rooftop farm.

Tsao said he’s interested in eventually bringing his work with Octave to other markets outside of China, and has his eye on upstate New York.

“We’re trying to take Confucianism out of the specific conditions of being a Chinese philosophy and take it to a more universal place,” he said. “These principles can apply to design almost anywhere.”


News
1 to 12 of 7154 news stories
15 Nov 2019
The University of Derby, UK is axing its Spa Management degree as of 2022. The University is yet to confirm the reason, but the UK Spa Association (UKSPA) has attributed it to reduced demand for ... More
15 Nov 2019
Mia Kyricos, senior vice president and global head of wellbeing for Hyatt, has received a second award in as many months recognising her contributions to the field of wellness and hospitality. Kyricos was named as ... More
15 Nov 2019
Mandarin Oriental hotel group’s Silent Night programme will take place this year on the 11 December. All Mandarin Oriental spas will offer their normal treatment menu until 5.00pm, after which time there will be no ... More
14 Nov 2019
Green Spa Network (GSN) has announced its upcoming Self-care and Personal Sustainability Summit, which will take place from 1-3 December 2020, at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Massachusetts, US. The workshop is designed to ... More
14 Nov 2019
Private equity firm CI Capital Partners has acquired a majority interest in spa consultancy and management firm WTS International. The deal – for which no financials were released – will see the WTS management team ... More
13 Nov 2019
Destination spa Canyon Ranch has opened its first retreat model, Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat – Woodside, set on 16 acres of ancient redwood forest in California, US. The property is designed as a “true retreat ... More
13 Nov 2019
Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos (SMA) have created a branched, undulating design for Chablé's planned Sea of Cortez spa resort that blends with the natural landscape and gives guests both privacy and ocean views. Located on the ... More
13 Nov 2019
Finnish organisation World Sauna Challenge will host an attempt to break the Guinness World record for ‘Most Nationalities in a Sauna’ at Suomenlinna Naval Academy sauna, Finland, on 14 November. Known as the home of ... More
13 Nov 2019
Lanserhof at The Arts Club – a private members’ medi-gym in London’s Mayfair – has partnered with personalised health-system provider, bioniq Health Tech Solutions, to offer members a bespoke supplement programme, bioniq LIFE. In-depth blood, ... More
11 Nov 2019
Portuguese eco-spa Douro41 has partnered with Irish product house, Moss of the Isles, after a €500,000 (US$551907, £429372) refurbishment of its spa, located on the banks of the Douro river, Vista Alegre. Douro41 is a ... More
11 Nov 2019
US-based skincare brand KNESKO has appointed Aldo Celeste as national sales director for its spa division. Founded by Reiki master Lejla Cas, KNESKO has international spa partnerships with brands including Canyon Ranch, The Ritz-Carlton, Fairmont, ... More
08 Nov 2019
An iconic hot springs resort in Arizona, US dating back to the 19th century has marked its return to the world of luxury hospitality, re-opening its doors last month for its first full season. Castle ... More
     
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NEWS
Architects Tsao & McKown design vast wellness resort for China
POSTED 22 Apr 2016 . BY Kim Megson
Architecture practice Tsao & McKown are designing a 189,000sq m (2m sq ft) luxury wellness retreat along Yangcheng Lake outside of Suzhou, China, due to open in Q3 2016.

The project is being built through Octave – a development company owned by studio co-founder Calvin Tsao that is dedicated to creating wellness communities.

The retreat, called Sangha, will be comprised of residences, hotels and learning spaces. A 69-guestroom hotel offers a platform for wellbeing works, including an integrated medicine assessment and treatment centre, mind-body practice, coaching and counselling, spa, medi-spa and mindful dining.

Adjacent to the wellbeing hotel will be a village quarter that houses an executive education and learning complex, designed for deep group learning experiences.

The retreat will include a 6,000sq m (64,583sq ft) spa with treatments from massages to colonics, as well as a 1,200sq m (12,917sq ft) hammam, wet spa, steam room, saunas and night walks.

“Because the spa space is all about the environment and relocation and introspection it’s rather fantastical, I would say,” said Tsao. “It’s a subterranean space pierced with skylights – and the ceiling undulates. There are all sorts of bells and whistles.”

Sangha is heavily influenced by Confucian thought, including ideas of relationships with self, community, society and nature, which are incorporated in the design brief.

“Confucian thought is mainly about a methodology: priorities and values,” said Tsao. “These imbue the design process through the relationship between the different components. Suzhou is big, but it isn't a muscle-flexing, ‘look at me’ type of design. We wanted it to be retiring and introspective.

“In the design, the way we've organised spaces is meant to encourage congregation as well as individual contemplation, so there are quiet places, reclusive areas where people can retire for meditation and introspection.”

Octave has already built the Shanghai Living Room, a prototype and incubator for Sangha.

“We’re new to this and we needed to test drive it, so this was a small litmus test,” said Tsao. “It’s a microcosm, with everything surrounding an internal courtyard. There's a balance between inside and outside spaces.”

The Living Room features mind and body wellness programmes that are both about personal and group life-coaching, as well as children’s early learning courses, yoga, tai chi, boxing, nutritional counselling, and integrated Eastern-Western medicine clinic, and an eatery and standalone cafe that focus on healthy eating, with fresh ingredients from a rooftop farm.

Tsao said he’s interested in eventually bringing his work with Octave to other markets outside of China, and has his eye on upstate New York.

“We’re trying to take Confucianism out of the specific conditions of being a Chinese philosophy and take it to a more universal place,” he said. “These principles can apply to design almost anywhere.”
 


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Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2019

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