Bangkok-based design Sixseven S (67s) has completed a new urban retreat Yunomori Onsen Sathorn which offers authentic experiences for both Japanese onsen and Thai massage. Located in the middle of Bangkok city in Sathorn area, the building consists of 2 parts, which are the renovated old apartment building and the new building, separating the functions of the onsen and spa treatment facilities.
The concept of bridging the old building with the new one is inspired by Kintsugi, a Japanese art of repairing broken pottery. The attempt to reflect the concept results in sublime material selections, fusing Japanese minimalist aesthetic with local materials.
The major challenge of this project is the narrow plot in the heart of Bangkok’s CBD. Despite being surrounded by dense tall buildings, 67s offers a design solution by creating a courtyard that allows natural light. Guests who enter the lobby on the 2nd floor are greeted with the bamboo-formed concrete wall that runs through the whole atrium. The interior design intends to cut off the chaotic outside world.
The hallway’s atmosphere fosters peace and relaxation, thanks to the wood veneer flooring and illuminated with concealed light. The designer intentionally puts the lobby next to the lush garden courtyard to create a little surprise for the guests. The courtyard also acts as a buffer area between the two buildings, a common space for both onsen and massage facilities.
On the 1st floor, a restaurant “Happy Rice” sits next to the garden with a seating area surrounded by greenery. An open bar counter which serves light meals and “kakigori” dessert for customers is cladded with Japanese-style chiseled wood texture. The interior design of the onsen on the 3rd and 4th floor is more simplified, using lighter shades of materials, the uniform rhythm of surfaces, along with natural slate stone and indirect light source. The idea is to gradually change the visitor’s perception of the space, from rough to relaxing, as the guests walk through the space.
The treatment rooms offer more intimate sensibility. An intricate wooden screen with a diffusing acrylic sheet resembles an illuminated sho-ji screen. To ensure the harmony of the atmosphere, 67s uses only light tone wood furniture with neutral color soft finishing, from beige to ivory and gray.
As the guests are approaching the rooftop bar, the bamboo element reappears again. This time it was used to cover the entire ceiling, casting a pleasant effect of dancing light and shadow. The white marble mosaic floor, inspired by the broken ceramic, is the exemplary element that the designer uses to remind us of the Kintsugi art.