Young urbanites in China are generally suffering from mental and physical exhaustion brought by various pressures, such as from work and their families. In addition, nightclubs, karaoke, video games and other de-stressing and entertainment activities are consuming their remaining energy. Traditional foot bath therapy, which originates from Traditional Chinese Medicine and has a history of more than a thousand years, may offer them a new option for quick refreshment.
Project Name: FOREST FOR REST
Location: Chongqing, China
Area: 2,700 m2
Design Firm: Leaping Creative
Design Director: Zen ZHENG
Project Manager: Dongzhi YOU
Image Strategy & Experiential Process: CC CHEN, Evan CHEN, Jialu HONG
VI Design: Evan CHEN, Linxiong YAN
Spatial Design: Dingling YAO, Zhenyu YAO, Yanzhi TAN, Shuming YANG
Installation Design: Lesi GONG, Liwei CHEN, Yinjie LI, Minghao LIANG, Jiening HUANG
Animation: [email protected] MAXEL MEDIA
Photos: Minjie WANG
FOREST FOR REST is a new leisure & wellness brand, which is mainly targeted at young generations. As approaching the project, the primary task was to shake off customers’ stereotype of the industry by upgrading foot spa experiences. So as to covey the idea that traditional foot bath could also be cool and become a new fashion.
The design team chose Hercules beetle as the icon of the brand, since it symbolizes healing, energy and vitality. Its image is extended to print materials, screens and three-dimensional installations in a holistic manner. It is widely applied to the offline space and online APP, to tell the brand story where travelers encounter an oasis after a long, arduous journey in the desert and eventually find a wonderland under the guidance of the Hercules beetles. It’s just like the process where stressed young urbanites enter this space, in which their body and mind are relaxed and healed by foot bath and spa experiences.
Based on the research on the industry, the service process is redesigned together with the floor plan, so as to integrate costumers’ journey and the brand story, the echo of which throughout the space creates an immersive experience. The brochures and online APP act as guidance that help to complement offline foot bath and spa services. In addition, supportive materials such as tote bags, cups, slippers and umbrellas also intensify the identity of the brand.
The project is situated at a popular pedestrian shopping street in Chongqing. Set on the third floor of a shopping mall, the space can be directly reached via elevators. The entrance area features several curved walls, providing customers with multiple paths to enter the inside areas. It refers to the desert in the beginning of the journey to explore the forest wonderland. The layered curve shapes echo the city’s unique mountainous terrain, so as to resonate with both the local customers and those from other cities. The showcase for displaying and selling related products is placed beside the curved walls, looking like a treasure box that brings a surprise to travelers in a desert oasis.
Entering the waiting area, customers will be calmed by the soft light. The art installations and light together produce a mysterious and dramatic ambiance, which makes waiting experience stress-free and even enjoyable. Before entering the foot bath and spa rooms, customers will change shoes first. Based on the concept of “moonlight shallow”, the shoe changing area presents dreamy and poetic scenes. Curved and semi-enclosed seats are set to block the sightline and alleviate the embarrassment of changing shoes in the public area. On the other hand, the designers created an immersive atmosphere, which is a prelude and hint of the upcoming foot bath and spa experiences.
Unlike public areas, rooms were designed with a greater emphasis on comfort, privacy and simplicity. The pure and minimalist spaces, together with professional lighting design, enable customers to completely relax and immerse themselves in the spatial ambience and services. In spa rooms, frost glass is installed above the tub, with the embedded LED screen continuously displaying mottled light and shadows.
The secondary entrance of the space is connected to the escalators in the shopping mall. Finished with colored zinc plates and featuring a cave-like form, it’s a surprising bonus space.
Leaping Creative is a branding design consultancy. Our team is formed with designers from various background including business research, retail space design, visual design, interactive installation and material study, together to help our clients build unique customer experience.
Zen ZHENG / Founder, Design Director of Leaping Creative
Graduated with a degree of BA (Hons) Product Design from Central Saint Martin College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London, Zen Zheng has worked in London in different fields including product design and branding sector. His mixed working experience gave him a multi-dimensional perspective on design, and the belief that a good design should be both creative and problem solving. Zen founded Leaping Creative in 2010, and was awarded ’40 Under 40 Chinese excellent designer’ in 2017.