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Reflection & Rejuvenation: Art for Spas & Pools

As international art consultants, Artelier specialises in curating art for luxury residential, hospitality, yacht and aviation projects. As well as sourcing contemporary art by leading global artists, we also collaborate with artists to create art commissions tailored to the project – including custom art for spas, hotel art, and residential art collections.

A spa is one of the most luxurious spaces that a residence, yacht or hotel can have; going to the spa ought to transport the visitor far from their everyday life, to a place of tranquility and rejuvenation. Specially commissioned art for spas create an immersive aesthetic experience like no other. Working with an art consultant results in a custom art collection that is not only integrated into the design, but uniquely adapted to the humid environment of the spa.

Onboard Serenity: Art for Yacht Spas

The current trend for onboard wellness features, such as spas and saunas, has encouraged yacht interior designers to seek ways to create a relaxing and opulent atmosphere, which feels distinct from the rest of the yacht. Custom art for spas is an integral element of yacht spa design, as commissioning bespoke artworks allows them to be specially tailored to the technical requirements of the yacht, and to the heat and steam of the wellness features.

As art consultants for M/Y Plvs Vltra (74m), Artelier commissioned porcelain wall art for the yacht's jacuzzi. Collaborating with a leading ceramic artist on the central artwork for the spa, we created an intricate, yet resilient, installation of hand-sculpted porcelain flowers. Each flower was fixed onto a board in concentric circles, giving the impression of ripples on a pool of water. Within the space, the harmonious symmetry of the circles evoked a Zen-like simplicity.

Since the porcelain artwork would hang directly beside the jacuzzi, a humid-resistant coating was specially applied to the porcelain to ensure the artwork's longevity. In addition, the technique was adapted so that high-grade water resistant adhesive secured the porcelain flowers.

The curved back wall of the yacht spa presented a particular challenge, as the base of the artwork needed to fit flush against the spa wall. Working with the yacht yard, Artelier reviewed the measurements of the spa wall and developed a custom board, which measured exactly to the wall's curvature. In addition, the wider environment of the yacht spa needed consideration – the wall art not only had to withstand longterm exposure to humidity, but also the vibration of the yacht itself. Throughout the commissioning process, we worked closely with the artist to ensure the sculpture was technically suitable for enduring the vibration, adapting how the delicate porcelain was fixed to the board.

As part of our art consultancy services, we review all potential locations for artworks onboard. We identified a key location for custom art in the yacht's sauna.

The artwork needed to resist the extreme heated environment, and be safe for the users of the sauna – an artwork with metal elements, for example, was not suitable, since it would heat up considerably and be dangerous to touch. We therefore recommended using carved wood art, in line with the wood used for the sauna itself.

A leading contemporary artist was commissioned to create hand-carved wooden panels for the sauna art, which would be fitted into the sauna walls and were tailored to the unique space. The adhesives and wood finishes were selected due to their suitability for protecting the artwork against heat and potential water exposure, ensuring the artwork was hardwearing.

We carefully consulted the design scheme of the sauna to consider how the artwork would integrate, selecting a wood that complemented the neutral tones of the other wooden elements of the sauna. The abstract design carved into the panels, on the other hand, subtly contrasted with the parallel lines of the sauna's wooden planks.

Statement Glass: Residential Spas

Residential spa design offers more scope for creatively incorporating art; Artelier's Artist Walls collection presents artists whose large-scale artworks are ideally suited for unique feature walls that make striking art for spas. Glass art is an excellent option for residential spas, as the material is highly versatile and suitable for diverse modern styles, as well as easy to clean and maintain.

A residential project in the United States saw Danny Lane, one of Artelier's Artist Walls artists, create multiple glass feature walls for several key locations in a home spa. The commissioned artworks also served as architectural features, functioning as statement walls that were tailored to individual environments.

In the poolside area, Lane created a colourful and playful glass artwork, with integrated lighting to illuminate the vivid colours. The contrasting deep blue and bright orange is reminiscent of Henri Matisse's stained glass in the Vence Chapel, giving a contemporary spin on vibrant glass art. The artwork brought an element of the unexpected to the design of the poolside area, making for a refreshing atmosphere.

Elsewhere in the spa art project, Lane's glass artwork was integrated as a key structure – artworks served as glass partition walls, zoning the dressing area and hallway in a unique way. Not only did the glass feature wall provide visual continuity between the spaces, but the translucent glass effectively dispersed the light where it was not possible to have windows. The presence of natural light creates an especially uplifting atmosphere, which is invaluable for a spa area.

The swirling patterns are made using cutting-edge technology, allowing the glass to be carved with stunning precision – this creates the effect of shading, producing an impression of depth in the composition. On a practical level, the artwork's patterns serve as frosted glass, which is beneficial for separating the hallway and dressing areas.

Closer to home in London, architects often opt for subterranean expansion when seeking extra space, as townhouses typically have a limited footprint that does not allow for signification extensions. Subterranean spas in London's prime residences are often characterised by exceedingly modern, innovative design, and so necessitate art that speaks to this sleek, edgy environment.