Vessel Floats is a spa designed for the practice of sensory deprivation, a process that involves cutting off all external stimuli including sounds and light.
Arnold Studio has outfitted the meditative space with six walk-in isolation tanks, in which a user submerges themselves into salted water heated to 93.5 degrees Fahrenheit (34 degrees Celsius). The saturated water keeps them afloat as they enter into a relaxed state.
There are also pre- and post-float lounges and a guest reception area. According to the studio the facility is the largest of its kind on the US East Coast.
Its design focuses on the transition between the environments. The illumination, colours and sounds change as patrons traverse through the space, similar to the experience of sensory deprivation therapy.
“Moving through the space there is a structured, peeling away, of external light and sound, followed by the gradual introduction of subtle, focused, sensory stimuli,” Arnold Studio said.
A rounded concrete desk set against a blue wall forms the guest reception area where patrons check-in to enter the spa.
Two black chairs furnish the pre-float lounge, where guests wait before traversing through the spa’s entry hall, a dark passageway clad with corrugated grey felt walls designed to absorb sound and block light.
Each of the six isolation tanks is located along an additional dark corridor with a gold mirror running across the length of its ceiling. The reflective surface is outlined with dimmed lights designed to obscure the room’s physical boundaries.
A single deprivation tank occupies the area within each of the flotation rooms, which are light and soundproofed. The walls of the rooms are covered with cleaved slate stones and lit up by a subtle pink glow.
“The natural striations of the stone impart a subtle touch sensation and visual texture which is enhanced by the singular nature of the material’s use,” the studio added.
Following floatation, patrons walk through an exit hallway covered with ribbed felt walls to enter the post-float lounge.
Two upholstered yellow couches are built up against the walls of the seating area, which are clad with vertical oak batons.
The spa’s vanity room and bathroom are painted dark blue and outfitted with white shelving, sinks and mirrors that all emit a soft glow against their dark surroundings.
Arnold Studio is a New York architecture and design firm founded by Simon Arnold in 2015. The studio completed an apartment inside a historic brick building in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighbourhood.
Another sensory deprivation chamber with an isolation tank also recently opened in a bathhouse in Williamsburg, a Brooklyn neighbourhood that abuts Greenpoint. Aptly called Bathhouse, the project occupies a 1930s soda factory that Verona Carpenter Architects converted into a subterranean spa and restaurant.
Photography is by Chaunte Vaughn.
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