New York, NY
600 SF

2000

The ground floor of a Nolita walk-up was transformed into this refined boutique for calming theraputic treatments and homeopathic products.  The design of Prema Nolita features a highly crafted composition of rich organic elements set against a backdrop of whitewashed brick walls and the original traditional storefront.  Raw materials, such as bamboo flooring and bands of poured river rocks, are offset by delicate translucent Nelson lamps that hover overhead.  Mahogany, silk and slate quietly complement the products being displayed and reinforce the spa’s commitment to nature and well-being.

In plan, the rectangular space is simple and straightforward—balanced yet asymmetrical—with the front 400 sq. ft. devoted to the shop and the remaining 200 sq. ft. for the treatment suite. 

Horizontal boxes of solid mahogany allow ample room to display and store merchandise in the retail area while eliminating clutter.  The boxes hang away from the walls, emphasizing the floating nature of these elements within the larger volume of space.  Bento-inspired stacking trays and a countertop blending bar, where customers can mix essential oils into base formulas, are situated close to the floor.  The low profiles and intimate proportions invite relaxation and create an illusion of greater space. 

The treatment room was conceived as a fluid extension of the Zen rock garden in the rear courtyard.  Nature trickles in through a moat of river rocks lining the back wall, reinforcing the threshold between an inner meditative retreat and the surrounding urban neighborhood.   To disguise the room’s exposed pipes, stalks of bamboo were split and then tied to the pipes, a motif repeated throughout the spa.


PHOTOGRAPHER Joshua McHugh