Q&A with Portview: Serene Spa Oasis in the City Centre 23rd March 2023 | IN HEALTHCARE & WELLNESS | BY SBID

In this week’s interview with 2022 SBID Awards winners of the Contract Fit Out Project of the Year category, Portview, Paul Scullion discusses the sustainable elements of the project and how to ensure a customer journey is considered within design, as well as challenges of designing a basement space.

Portview were appointed to deliver a mixed-use residential development venture between Canary Wharf Group & Qatari Diar, London’s South Bank – a serene city oasis where residents can escape to relax, unwind, and reinvigorate.

SBID Awards Category: Contract Fit Out Project of the Year

Practice: Portview

Entry: Southbank Place Spa & Fitness Suite

spa, Q&A with Portview: Serene Spa Oasis in the City Centre

Firstly, tell us a bit about the design of your project. What were the key ideas, concepts and processes behind it?

Southbank Place Spa forms part of a unique mixed-use development in Waterloo, London. The ultra-sleek design of the lavish amenities was conceptualized by Goddard Littlefair, with an experiential focus to create a serene city oasis where residents can escape to relax, unwind and reinvigorate.

Portview’s material prowess sees the use of unique and innovative fittings throughout the spa. A light and calming palette of sensitively selected natural materials paired with ambient lighting to create a cocoon-like space within an uber-contemporary spa setting. Residents can enjoy a luxury hotel-standard spa experience within their dynamic city-living environment.

Sustainability was crucial on this 2,000 sqm spa and wherever possible, greener fabrics and finishes were implemented. Sustainable timber that is certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council was used throughout the facility, including the reception and spa entry areas. The timber was used for the flooring, timber panels, doors and various other joinery. The saunas’ hemlock and spruce bear the ‘Blue Angel’ quality certificate label, for particularly low-emission products made of wood and wood materials. The knotless, robust wood of the Canadian hemlock fir and Aspen are not only beautiful, but are also durable and resin free.

spa, Q&A with Portview: Serene Spa Oasis in the City Centre

What was your biggest takeaway or highlight from completing this project?

The bespoke and exclusive nature of the details of the spa design is evident in many areas. Despite the challenges and rigours of working in a hot and humid environment, tactile luxury has not been ignored. Panels of marine-grade faux leather have been embroidered and stitched by artisans, with Portview ensuring the detailing of the high-specification design and custom joinery throughout the entire area was converted to reality.

Providing users with a sense of privacy and exclusivity through cleverly zoning spaces was critical in this design, and was rewarding to deliver. One example of this is the use of beautiful custom-made burnished rock crystal screens in the reception area.

spa, Q&A with Portview: Serene Spa Oasis in the City Centre

The key focus of the design layout was the guest journey. Could you explain how the design process looked while following this concept?

The guest journey was hugely important in the design of this project, with the recognition that while some users will want to be energised through a hard-hitting workout, others want to relax. These two elements can therefore be accessed separately without overlap to heighten the experience.

The spacious reception area acts as a hub and a social area for residents to meet one another, therapists or trainers. Two fully equipped gyms are available along with separate studios, which can be heated for a hot yoga workout or cooled for a dynamic spin class. The alternative wet and relax route takes residents through plush changing rooms, the gentlemen having a dedicated sauna area, while ladies can enjoy their own vitality pool, sauna and steam room.

On the pool deck itself, the heat experiences continue with a stunning 25m heated swimming pool, accompanied by a further vitality pool, sauna and steam room along with social relaxation spaces for residents to enjoy. In addition, calm yet luxurious treatment rooms are available where selected therapies including beauty treatments are available.

spa, Q&A with Portview: Serene Spa Oasis in the City Centre

This Spa & Fitness Suite looks rather different from the average fitness centre – it is light, serene, and minimalist. Did you stumble upon any challenges that were particular to your chosen design style?

A challenge of the project was its basement location, which meant there was no natural light. Portview introduced a system of sensory experiences throughout the spa to create warm and radiant ambient light. The design creates an immersive feeling of light and space through carefully concealed architectural lighting that casts warm glows across rich surfaces, while decorative lighting provided beautiful accents through the space. The glowing feature lighting in the pool area was created with each glass drop specifically crafted to allude to the flow of water, contributing to the serene atmosphere.

spa, Q&A with Portview: Serene Spa Oasis in the City Centre

What has winning an SBID Award meant for you and your business?

To achieve the extraordinary, industry leaders need to work in collaboration, which is exactly what Goddard Littlefair and Portview did to deliver Southbank Spa. The award from SBID highlights to the industry that Portview should be the trusted partner of any client or designer who wants to turn their vision into a reality. The team at Portview are genuine, ambitious and hard-working, which I could have told you before winning this award, but it’s extra special to have this recognised by SBID too.

spa, Q&A with Portview: Serene Spa Oasis in the City Centre

Questions answered by Paul Scullion, Contracts Director, Portview.

When it comes to delivering exceptional interior fit-outs, you need high quality that’s built to last. At Portview, our dedicated team listens to your vision and uses their extensive knowledge to find a way to bring it to life.
With over 40 years of experience, our hands-on, straight-talking approach ensures projects are delivered on time and on budget, which is why we are chosen by some of the world’s top brands, including Arsenal FC, All England Lawn Tennis Club, Tottenham Hotspur, Tiffany & Co and Fortnum & Mason.
We are creating the extraordinary.

If you missed last week’s Interview with the Healthcare & Wellness Design category winner Mane Design, click here to read it.