Inspiration - Turkish Delight

Photos courtesy HBA London/Hirsch Bedner Associates and ESPA at The Edition Istanbul

When the spa-design experts at HBA London/Hirsch Bedner Associates were commissioned to create an ESPA at the new Edition hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, they faced an interesting design challenge. The final plan for the gutted space (a former bank) called for 10 luxurious treatment rooms, a VIP suite, café, fitness center, hammam and more—all within 20,000 square feet, split across three subterranean levels. “The big question,” says HBA associate Nathan Hutchins, “was how to break up personal and social spaces correctly to make sure that the social elements”—the café, pool and hammam—“didn’t impede on the private ones.” Their solution? Flip the design. “Typically, you enter a spa and circulate down, but we placed the reception area and changing rooms at the bottom, allowing guests to circulate up through the spa, so that the treatment rooms were at the end of the guest’s journey.” Opened in May, ESPA at the Istanbul Edition has become a fast favorite among business travelers and locals seeking refuge from the bustling city. “Once you enter the spa,” says ESPA International’s spa associate Terry Prager, “it’s a total escape from reality. Just incredibly calm and peaceful.”

RECEPTION (above): As guests circulate through ESPA, they may notice the many interesting angles and curved walls: straight lines were intentionally avoided in the spa’s overall design.

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