Beyond Rest Collingwood

FMD Architects

The design brief received by FMD Architects was for a floatation centre to be housed in an industrial warehouse in Collingwood, Melbourne. Float tanks are used for both relaxation and rehabilitation purposes by a wide-ranging client base. This is a growing wellness industry which offers a range of physical and mental health benefits. The design response was to create a temple of serenity.

The design uses sacred geometry for planning the space as well as in the fine detail seen in the custom-made joinery and light fittings. Sacred geometry derives forms, patterns and proportional systems from nature. These geometries have been incorporated in a range of sacred structures of all religious types and cultural origins for thousands of years. The use of the geometry elevates the spatial experience, which is in line with the heightened mental state one achieves through floating.

The tanks are housed in spaces that have been designed to the proportions of a hen’s egg, which is another example of sacred geometry. These radiate around the warehouse creating a circular plan around which the users circumambulate. Support spaces, including waiting areas and chill out zones, flow from the pod spaces. There appears to be no end to the spaces as you move around, reflecting philosophies of infinite cyclical life forces.

The design explores and extends the experiential and emotional qualities that floating activates. The continual movement of the curving walls and almost infinite spaces reinforce the elevated state you achieve while floating, then reconnect you to the ground as you leave. The user passes through a series of spaces that gradually become less geometric and more abstract, enabling a feeling of disassociation from the outside world and opening possibilities to travel further within.

Photography: Tatjana Plitt