Blurring the lines between reality and illusion at Jiyu Spa
Hip-Pop Design have taken spatial exploration to a new level at Jiyu Spa where they have pushed the boundaries of escapism by playing with the relationship of darkness, reflection, and colourful illusions.
Jiyu Spa, a 2,000 sqm space that Hip-Pop Design has transformed into a whole new sensory world. For those used to well-lit spas, this one is purposely designed with dark environments for a different method of rejuvenation.
Why Jiyu Spa? To create a dream-like state through spatial activation
The dark and “phygital” interior design pave the way for future wellness centres looking for alternative means of interior design for therapeutic spaces.
The minds behind Jiyu Spa – Hip-Pop Design
Hip-Pop Design was founded by Sun Tianwen, in Shanghai, who has a strong background in architectural and interior design. The practice works on large-scale hotels, boutique hotels, high-end catering, clubs, offices, and wellness centers.
The firm studies design psychology and uses space, colour, and layout to explore how design language can influence people’s thinking patterns and behaviours. They strive to create innovative designs that push the boundaries of modern interior concepts.
Materials & Techniques – Reflective glass and wood veneer
Reflective glass and wood veneers were used widely throughout Jiyu Spa to create a futuristic aesthetic within the facility. The reflective glass disperses optical illusions in each room while the wood veneer reveals a hidden visual context between light and dark.
Hip-Pop Design carefully considered their material choice to create an environment within each room that would surprise even the most avid of spa-goers. The whole design is intended to represent the flow of dreaming and the euphoric feeling of waking up after a long rest, but with a futuristic element that makes you feel like you’re within a pre-set Apple wallpaper.
If you want to know more about futuristic interiors, don’t miss Metanoia – Stairway to heaven by Patricia Bustos.
Style & Aesthetics – A sensory world
Hip-Pop Design has jumped to blur the lines between reality and illusion with the aesthetics of Jiyu Spa. Its interior is a futuristic escapism style that offers a new perspective on spatial exploration. A spa is the best place to test this new interior design style as such spaces are literally designed to allow you to leave your thoughts of day-to-day life at the door.
Sun Tainwen, the founder of Hip-Pop Design, has received over 23 awards in 3 years for architectural and interior design
To name a few, in 2018 Tainwen won the IIDA Asia Pacific Best Design Award, the US IIDA Global Excellence Award (GEA), and the World Grand Prix Interior Design Association Award. In 2019, he won the gold award in the club category of the Singapore Interior Design Grand Prix.
Design memento – Freeze-framing moments
The combination of transparent and reflective glass is used to create a dramatic effect; freeze-frame the moments; express wordless emotions and play with the balance between light and dark. Guests momentarily move away from routine life and explore a space where 3D depth is blurred and transformed into a 4D direction of time and space. This allows spa-goers to break away from their usual routine and rediscover life with a new perspective.
The writer’s comment – A spatial narrative that’s ahead of its time
Jiyu Spa by Hip-Pop Design reminds me of Yayoi Kasama’s infinity rooms that are filled with infinity mirrors to create a dark yet colourful illusion of infinite space. I love how Hip-Pop Design has taken the concept of a spa and pushed the boundaries to a completely new level by playing with space, light, and darkness to activate a dreamlike feeling.
If you are curious to know more about experience design through spaces, check out Existence is beauty, your existence is beautiful – Through the vision & words of teamLab.