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A loft in the heart of Soho is transformed into a tranquil wellness spa bathed in light

Frederick Tang Architecture designed MOXI as a contemporary space that embodies the metropolitan roots of its New York location

By Palesa Kgasane  | June 2, 2022 | Architecture

One can say it is perhaps a sign of the times, that the emphasis on mental wellness is seeing changes in many industries, particularly when it comes to where we live and work. Places of rest like MOXI, an acupuncture and wellness wellness spa, are growing in demand. The architecture firm founded by Frederick Tang, is renowned for its no boundaries approach when it comes to design, so when they were enlisted to take on this unique design project, they sought to fully embody what the space is for - community and relaxation. MOXI is located in a SoHo heritage sight built in 1901 and Frederick Tang Architecture made sure to preserve as much of the existing interior elements.

Photo: MOXI by Gieves Anderson

The rectangular open-plan space that houses MOXI, is bathed in sky light which was the starting point of the design project. "We started by organizing the plan around the sources of natural light," said studio Director and Principal Architect Frederick Tang. "Architecturally we wanted to organise the many different components in a plan that felt logical and complete which was difficult with space constraints.“ As a result, softened corners and arched windows were created to maximise space and light in the reception area that also doubles as a place for classes and communing.

Corridor with roof that serves as a light well, central to the design of the whole space. Photo by Gieves Anderson
Central corridor which leads to the various private rooms. Photo by Gieves Anderson

While most wellness spaces are white or use a neutral palette, MOXI’s walls are predominantly deep green, offset by terracotta and pale peach in the treatment rooms, built around the well of light and joined by a corridor. These colours, although out of the box for a wellness studio, create a sense of warmth and vitality.

MOXI treatment room. Photo by Gieves Anderson

Colour is powerful, and we wanted to be strategic with its use,” says Barbara Reyes, Frederick Tang Architecture’s director of interiors. “The application of the colour green in MOXI not only brings nature into the space but represents the ability to heal and create a balance between the mind and body.“ At the end of the central corridor, is a kitchenette as well as a herb dispensary, bath and office.

Photo by Gieves Anderson
Photo by Gieves Anderson

Overall, the space is designed to look and feel calming, natural and inspiring as opposed to clinical and cold; a peaceful escape from bustling city life.

The MOXI Kitchenette for staff and clients. Photo by Gieves Anderson
Photo by Gieves Anderson