Be Water My Friend08 August 2021
“Empty your mind; be formless, shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it
becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a
teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my
– Bruce Lee
From water we touch or are immersed in, hot, temperate, or cold, to tranquil fountains and soaring waterfalls which we see and hear, and water we taste; design throughout the centuries has engaged with water in many ways both innovative and deeply entrenched in tradition.
The balance of the properties of water is something that resonates with us and sits harmoniously with our principles of Luxury and Lifestyle. Water is flexible, clear, precious, and reflective. It is celebrated through wellness, F&B and hotel design and intertwines the disciplines of Architecture, ID and Landscape Architecture which arguably makes it the most collaborative of the elements. Sure, air flows throughout and we build upon the earth, but we have to pave a way for the water and guide its journey through our creations.
Six Senses Fort Barwara, opening later this year, is located in the desert of the region of Rajasthan and gets very little rainfall. Water is most precious in this part of the world (there are more than 40 names to describe clouds in a place that sees less than 50 cloudy days a year!!).
As you meander around the resort you will experience the route that the water takes through the site. The route is expressed through channels that form an integrated part of the design rather than being routed underground. This is derived from an age-old Indian system in which these channels were filled with Charcoal to cleanse the water before it entered the harvesting tank. Using this system and designing a series of channels, drains, and features around the landscape and the pool not only celebrates the rain but also makes guests acutely aware of this precious resource.
As we turn to wellness design, our water transitions form – from snow and ice rooms to Vichy showers and steam rooms. The multi-sensory experience of a spa journey through temperatures inspires our design. Just as cold-water hydrotherapy aims to invigorate and increase internal body activity, and warm water aims to calm and soothe, our design aims to encompass these same emotions. As we cross borders these experiences differ as they balance their surrounding elements of air, and earth. In the heat of Dubai we are looking at Arabic healing and herbology alongside our water experiences, in Yangzhou where temperatures vary we turn to tranquil floatation rooms paired with halotherapy and in Victoria, Australia, Hydrotherapy is our focus.
Variation of tactility through waters changing form also informs tactility of our surrounding design materials. The sound of running water informs the ebbs and flows through our spaces, and the sight and taste of water inform our guest experience. “If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup.”
We design with ambition, to be like water.