Alberto Apostoli Creates Harmony with Art and Spa
Nerò SPA at Terme Preistoriche Resort & SPA
Location: Montegrotto Terme (Italy)
Design: Studio Apostoli
Photos: Chiara Grossi
What was the concept behind your salon/spa vision?
My concept was a multipurpose, holistic, avant-garde spa conceived as a work of art. It is an expression of the location’s history and natural therapeutic qualities of its waters, becoming a harmonious union of spa, territory and art. Nerò SPA is probably one of the few spas in the world to have an art gallery.
How does your space work with light where it’s required?
I always attach great importance to lighting in our projects. In fact, Studio Apostoli has two lighting designers in its team. I like to consider light as a real building material. For Nerò SPA we have worked hard on the integration of artificial light and natural light, using the large windows in the building.
What made you choose your colour scheme, furniture and finishing touches?
Colours, finishes and furnishings were inspired by the great protagonist of this region. The rich soil produces precious mud which characterizes the best treatments offered in this thermal region.
How did you set up your retail and product storage areas?
This is a very important question. Whenever I design a spa, I keep in mind that this type of facility, within a hotel, should not add cost, but produce income. Design must therefore be functional and above all, serve the economic success of the operation. The retail area is indeed very important. For Nerò SPA, we decided to merge the retail area with the area dedicated to the exhibition of the artwork gallery. This is to facilitate and improve the shopping experience.
How does your space create a relaxing environment for your guests?
We did our best to create atmospheres rather than spaces. There are no precisely defined areas. The guest goes through a spontaneous, relaxing wellness path.
Did your budget and timeframe go according to plan?
Before starting the work, we created a detailed business plan and a precise time schedule. The works had to be carried out in a specific time frame during the closing period. This investment of time together with a careful project management activity has allowed us to respect the costs and times agreed with the client.
What challenges did you come across building your space?
The area dedicated to the spa is located on the first floor is where we encountered some logistical difficulties. It was not easy to build the water basin that covers a large part of the surface, which caused some infiltration problems. The choice of some innovative technologies also posed several challenges to our engineers.
What advice would you give to a spa owner looking to create their own unique space?
I would suggest not to seek inspiration from spas in other places. A successful spa in a certain geographic area may not necessarily be replicable in another location. The concept design of a spa should always find inspiration from the place where it stands.
Alberto Apostoli is considered one of the most important and award-winning architects and trendsetters in the wellness industry. He has designed numerous and wonderful spas all over the world as well as some products and equipment that have become icons for the new way of experiencing the spaces of private wellness. For over twenty five years he has contributed to the development of the sector through educational activities, workshops and publications.
Alberto Apostoli’s approach has now established itself as a true manifesto of “Wellness Architecture”, which arises from the combination of creativity, specialist know-how and technical expertise.
Apostoli says: “My goal is to create well-being through architecture. This means compositional harmony, experiential quality, technological perfection, sustainability, use of elements instead of materials, interpretation of the environment; a philosophy rather than a discipline”.
He leads a team of sixty professionals including architects, interior designers, engineers and consultants who work in accordance with his vision.