Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
One Taste Holistic Health Club in Hangzhou, Zhejiang by Crox International
November 14th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Tsung-Jen Lin
A lake of pleasure in a cup of tea
One Taste Holistic Health Club, located in this piece of heaven on earth between Hangzhou city’s Chenghuang Temple and the West Lake, is China’s first club that focuses on the healing of our minds. Caring for the society’s wellbeing, One Taste wishes for the development of our spiritual enlightenment, where they have pioneered an open forum for reunification, as we journey back to our own hearts. This is where avant-garde architect Tsung-Jen Lin, has incorporated western holism with eastern serenity to create a plane of Zen for our spiritual awakening.
Here lies a scene to escape to, a scene of the West Lake overlooked by the Chenghuang Temple, up on the mountains, where silent hazes and whispering mists rendezvous, a place to calmly attune your rhythm to the hymn of nature. Amidst this ethereal intertwining of wind and water, Lin has composed an air of fluidity within One Taste, focusing on the form of the lake water by using ripples as the main design concept.
“We often experience nature’s beauty from afar， generally from our comfort zones. A subtle separation can create the safety we need, and from a place of peace, we can then enjoy and ponder the wonders and beauties of nature.” Lin said.
His concept is portrayed through snaking lauan timber, flowing across One Taste that has shrewdly defined the sense of the public and the private. It gives the space a multi-leveled layering effect，achieving the feel of wind gliding over water. Rhythmic lines，slowly inverting one’s perspectives and then projecting from within, a sense of freedom. The flow of the timber creates multi-functional areas between the curls and waves that curves off naturally to reveal new vistas.
West Lake reflect, One Taste serene
Practicing the art to a peaceful state of mind is a beautiful practice, One Taste insists so, to greatly value healthy minds and to respect nature and our place within it. By utilizing natural materials such as solid wood and stone, with the reflections of silver foil, Lin believes in capturing the essence of natural beauty not just the aesthetics. The use of materials in One Taste places a strong focus on ‘simplicity’ to ensure the feel of the materials’ original charm and warmth. Not only has Lin preserved the simple beauties of the materials themselves, he has also projected the fusion of eastern and western ideals for beauty upon them.
The layout was configured through the use of flexible thresholds, i.e. curtains and movable mirrors, to create an open environment that can be utilized freely as well as closed for exclusive workshops. The light that reflects inwards derives from the sunlit courtyard outside, it dances around the atmosphere, spreading light and shadow throughout One Taste.
Elegance over decadence
A place of Zen in the bustle of a city’s center is without doubt, hard to find. That breezy lifestyle of leisure, that peaceful space for meditation, can all be experienced in the haven amidst the clamor, One Taste. The holistic health club wittily makes space for all activities that benefits our mind and soul, meditation, taichi and yoga followed by strolling through the gardens and enjoying tea on the courtyard, reaching for a balance between the ideals of east and west. It is also a place where confidants can just gather and chit-chat over aromatic brews, meditate together window-side and read leisurely on the wooden decks. This is the purpose of Lin’s design, to give people a space for quiet contemplation or just a space for escape within the city, so we can enjoy the joys of peace in our everyday lives.
Influenced by the western world’s way of life, pleasure is no longer in decadence, but in subtle elegance; this is the ideals for a new generation of China. The pure white walls and gentle lauan timber sets the tone for a warm and simple One Taste. Together with the reflecting silver foil ceiling, rippling light that melts our guards against the world and become more and more comforted within this space. Designer Lin handpicked the tasteful ornaments that decorates the club, solidifying the tranquil and serene mood it extrudes. All of this to help and guide us on a journey back to ourselves.
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