Best of est | Australian Wellness Spaces

  • Best of est | Australian Wellness Spaces

    We pay tribute to five spaces around Australia that affirm the importance of living well.

    From yoga studios to high-intensity gyms, there’s something for everyone when it comes to the universal search for wellness. As part of our Best of est series, we’ve pinned five Australian destinations that pride themselves on the very notion of living well. So whether you’re already deep into your wellness journey or just scratching the surface, each space offers something different. Local designers GOLDEN, Melanie Beynon, Megan Hounslow, Set Square Studio, Foolscap Studio and Esoteriko headline this feature, demonstrating an aptitude for holistic, healthy design.

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    Warrior One by GOLDEN

    Warrior One by GOLDEN

    Inspired by the nautical and natural, GOLDEN’s Warrior One yoga studio in bayside Melbourne exemplifies how design can actively influence human health. The studio is deeply grounded in holistic wellbeing practices, offering guests an organic, sensory experience.

    Warrior One describes itself as a “welcoming, bright space” with a “chill surfer vibe”. This is thanks to the custom details throughout; notably, the entrance, where sisal carpet lines the ceiling. Textural and sculptural exploration continues with a custom counter by the talented Melbourne stonemason and artist Den Holm, lending the space a contemporary, coastal atmosphere. 

    Light filters into the yoga studios through fluted glass sliding doors, divided by custom bi-fold doors detailed with wallpaper and solid oak. Clever planning lets the integrated joinery be a platform for the instructor while cleverly concealing equipment. Hardwood beams give warmth and rhythm overhead, while a hand-textured wall rounds off the raw, organic aesthetic.

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    Warrior One by GOLDEN

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    Warrior One by GOLDEN

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    Warrior One by GOLDEN

    Willow Urban Retreat by Melanie Beynon and Megan Hounslow

    Architect Melanie Beynon and interior designer Megan Hounslow have created a wellbeing destination of simplicity, silence and solace in Armadale, Melbourne. Willow Urban founder Sharon Bassat had a vision: to make wellbeing a priority without too much time or planning. Melanie and Megan brought this concept to life in the form of a whole-foods cafe, movement and meditation studio, day spa and a detox facility.

    Melanie and Megan thought long and hard about what a holistic experience looks like and how it can be created. Entering the retreat, the exterior facade combines two fully restored, double-storey heritage buildings. Archways and cylinder-like walkways encourage flow, establishing, in Melanie’s words, “a spatial language of soft, seamless curves at meeting points between wall, floor and ceiling”.

    While promoting smooth transitions between spaces, the pair were also careful not to have the overlapping areas interfere with the soothing of the senses. In technical terms, this meant advanced air purification systems, acoustic treatments and low toxicity building materials like stone and woven fibres.

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    Willow Urban Retreat by Melanie Beynon and Megan Hounslow

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    Willow Urban Retreat by Melanie Beynon and Megan Hounslow

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    Willow Urban Retreat by Melanie Beynon and Megan Hounslow

    Sense of Self Bathhouse by Set Square Studio

    Set Square Studio have converted an empty warehouse in Melbourne’s inner-north into a multi-purpose sanctuary. Comprising a large mineral bath, Hammam Steam room, Finnish sauna, light-filled vegetated courtyard and cold plunge pool, Sense of Self Bathhouse offers an all-inclusive, immersive experience of self-discovery and self-care.

    Transcending common definitions of wellness, Sense of Self Bathhouse invites guests to explore the relationship between self and space. Working under the philosophy ‘design for every body’, Set Square Studio chose to do away with markers of gender and physicality, implementing communal change rooms and accessible communal bathing with a variety of entry options. 

    The materials specified in Sense of Self Bathhouse are inspired by the water itself; the way it moves, and the way it drives growth, healing and nourishment. “Decorative glass and digital projections play with the refraction of light, while the water wall and flowing fabric curtains represent the power of water,” Set Square Studio director Caitlin Perry says. 

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    Sense of Self Bathhouse by Set Square Studio

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    Sense of Self Bathhouse by Set Square Studio

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    Sense of Self Bathhouse by Set Square Studio

    1R by Foolscap Studio

    UK-based fitness destination 1Rebel tasked Foolscap Studio with developing the first-ever Australian location ‘1R’ in South Yarra, Melbourne. The high-intensity multi-studio space speaks to the hearts, minds and bodies of gym-goers through an all-embracing exercise and wellness framework.

    The fit-out of 1R aims to “sensorially inspire the individual and aid them on their journey of physical renewal,” Foolscap Studio director Adèle Winteridge says. Entering via the upper floor, the senses are allowed to ‘warm up’ amid the subdued, calming interior. Then, venturing below, three black-out studios fit with neon lights rapidly transport you from the outside world into a world of total fitness immersion. 

    “Dark”, “raw”, and “gruelling” are the words 1R uses to describe the studio experience; “designed to take you on a journey to hell and back”. Leaving the studio and entering the restorative, metal-clad change rooms, participants are left feeling energised, euphoric and invigorated.

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    1R by Foolscap Studio

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    1R by Foolscap Studio

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    1R by Foolscap Studio

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    1R by Foolscap Studio

    Shelter Spa by Esoteriko

    Rounding off this Best of est lineup is an industrial building turned wellness retreat in Double Bay, Sydney. Bringing four isolated yet connected facets of wellness under one roof – an ice bath, gym, sauna and juice bar – Shelter Spa offers a streamlined experience for all of its guests.

    Sydney-based interior design studio Esoteriko have brought restraint and clarity to the interiors through careful planning and a considered material palette. Nude pink contrasts against timber panelling; stainless steel contrasts against white bricks. An Australian vernacular has been established through indoor-outdoor connections, soft textures and decorative eucalyptus branches.

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    Shelter Spa by Esoteriko

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    Shelter Spa by Esoteriko

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    Shelter Spa by Esoteriko

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