W AWAY SPA
he W Amsterdam Hotel spreads through two monumental buildings standing across each other on Spui Straat just behind the Royal Palace and the Dam Square.
The Bank building was erected in 1908 while the Telephone Service Building was inaugurated in 1928. Both shared the same raison d’etre: ‘connect & exchange’, a value which inspired us throughout of the design process.
The W Amsterdam Away Spa is located within the ground level and underground private vaults level of the Bank building, a government monument of the highest level. As such, programing and spatial arrangement needed to be reinterpreted or even better, reinvented.
Owing to the ‘rigidity’ of the monument and the necessity for additional public hotel programs within the boundaries of the Away spa: a multifunction conference room, the X-Bank concept store, the hotel reception point and The Butcher burger chain new branch : a new spatial arrangement for the spa was born.
Connect & exchange was the motto for the space planning and while the Away spa offers a wide spectrum of delights, they reveal themselves in a fresh and genuine way,
befitting the spirit of the most liberal city in the world.
Following the W dna, the Away spa carries an urban attitude where party meets pleasure, a place to detox, revamp and get ready for whatever Amsterdam has to offer. Adding to it the unique programmatic context of its location and it all adds to a new cultural hub of multifaceted social apps overlaid one on top of the other challenging hierarchy, order and experience.
Black Basalt stone, Brass and Oak wood were selected to represent the urban and free spirit of the W Amsterdam Away spa.
The Basalt stone with its varying finishes and the oak wood befit the mundane character of the ground floor where the central manicure-espresso bar, the barber’s ‘altar’, the lockers and gym are located.
The Brass resonates with two ‘underworlds’ hidden away behind enigmatic safe doors of forgone craftsmanship, colossal thickness and weight, where valuables, secrets and cherished moments lay silently still while waiting for their owners.
The silence continues.
The first ‘underworld’ is now hosting the treatment and relaxing rooms. The softly brushed brass paneling throughout the space resonates with the past and alludes to its present role. Its silky gold texture radiates a soothing and embracing air where body and soul can find refuge.
The second ‘underworld’ is the wet zone of the spa where water run through thermo baths, a swimming pool, a socializing Jacuzzi, sauna and hammam.
The rocky textured black basalt stone and a the dark lighting scene add to the secrecy and mystery of the journey into this hidden space where memories are ephemeral and the present is just beginning.
A 24 karat gold plated thermo bath awaits us as we descend to the ‘underworld ‘: a 21st century treasure of sorts for our body and soul….