Sparcstudio reveals spa design trends for 2022

By Lauren Heath-Jones


By Lauren Heath-Jones

17 January 2022

Beverley Bayes, creative director of Sparcstudio, a leading architectural and interior design firm specialising in spa and wellness facilities, has revealed Sparcstudio’s design trends that are set to impact the spa and wellness industries in 2022. 

Social spas by Sparcstudio

According to Bayes, the demand for human connection and shared experiences will see the inclusion of more social spaces in spas.

Where guests have previously opted for private or individual treatments, group treatment suites or poolside cabanas catering to couples or friends – such as the Scandinavian Snug created by Sparcstudio for Aqua Sana – will become more popular, providing in-built, pre or post-treatment relaxation spaces.

Social spa experiences, such as the steam room at Champneys Mottram Hall, are on the rise driven by a desire for human connection and shared experience

Social spaces will also become more important being incorporated directly into the spa journey in the form of social nooks or niches. 

Hammams and banya sauna suites, ideal places for social spa experiences, are also expected to see a surge in popularity, while private group hire of these facilities can add an additional income stream.

Rewilding – A move away from the spa garden

Reflecting current rewilding initiatives to encourage wildlife in agricultural spaces, spas will undergo their own rewilding in 2022 by moving away from the traditional ‘spa garden’ model to fully embrace the great outdoors.

The natural pool at South Lodge was developed to foster a connection with nature and provide the freedom of a wild swimming experience

Connection with nature has been vital in wellness spaces over the past two years and spas can continue to foster this connection by offering experiences set in wilder natural settings, such as wild swimming, forest bathing, foraging and guided meditations.

Outdoor treatment, bathing and heat experiences, many with open or glazed sides, such as the sauna on stilts at Aqua Sana Sherwood Forest, which provide a direct connection to the landscape are also set to become more prevalent, as well as hotel rooms built in ourdoor locations or tree houses.

woman wearing yellow jacket and white top in front of a yellow wall

“The return to nature will be central to the way spa guests interact with the spa building.”

Beverley Bayes

Creative director, Sparcstudio

Biophilic design

Meanwhile, natural swimming pools, freshwater naturally filtered pools and ponds that offer the freedom and escapism of wild swimming are set to become an essential element for forward-thinking, eco-conscious spa developers.

Speaking to European Spa, Bayes said: “Biophilic principles will continue to inform Sparcstudio projects and the return to nature will be central to the way spa guests interact with the spa building.”

Bespoke lighting and furniture 

In the social media age, a spa’s story and aesthetic are essential in capturing the attention of potential guests on platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. Bespoke pieces can help create a real sense of place, telling the story of the spa and its concept. 

Sparcstudio created bespoke elements inspired by The Spa at South Lodge's botanical theme

The Spa at South Lodge‘s botanical theme serves as a perfect example. The lodge was previously owned by a botanist and the property features more than 360 species of trees and plants sourced from around the world. Therefore, Sparcstudio designed bespoke tables fashioned from the cross-section of a fallen tree from the estate, while a host station in the restaurant was inspired by an oval seed pod form sculpted by a local artist.

Modern fitness

For many young urbanites and health-conscious millennial gym-goers, high-end gym facilities are becoming increasingly important, with an evening spent working out at the gym or doing a fitness class even replacing a night at the pub in some cases.

As a result member clubs are becoming something of a status symbol and spas and hotels will embrace this by designing their fitness offerings to suit the needs of this emerging subculture and focusing their attention on the interior design of their fitness facilities. Dark equipment-filled spaces will be replaced with wellness elements, outdoor training facilities and biophilic design to create green and healthy workout spaces. 

High-end fitness facilities, like the ones at South Lodge, are becoming increasingly important to young urbanites and heath-conscious millennials | ©Amy Murrell

The Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House in St Albans is a particularly good example of how modern finishes and high-end joinery can heighten a workout space and create a warm and welcoming experience. Sparcstudio elevated the space further by creating bespoke elements and using beautiful, natural finishes such as timber panelling and wooden floors.

“2022 is set to be an incredible year for the spa and wellness industries and great design will be leading the way with new projects coming online across the globe,” said Bayes.

“We’re excited to see how the trends are expressed in great architectural projects that bring wellness to life.”

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