It would be an understatement to say that the last few years have been stressful. As a result, there has been a growing demand for new ways to relax and engage in practices that boost physical and mental health. Fortunately, the acupuncture and wellness studio MOXI by Frederick Tang Architecture is guaranteed to provide those well-deserved health and wellness treatments.
Located in what was a mercantile building that was erected in 1901, the Brooklyn-based studio, Frederick Tang Architecture was tasked with marrying MOXI’s contemporary sensibility with the heritage site in the heart of New York City. Because of the firm’s signature architectural approach, which is experimental and prioritizes creating spaces that speak for themselves, they were uniquely suited to take on this design project. Instead of completely gutting the old site, Frederick Tang Architecture chose to preserve as much of the existing structure and interior elements, paying homage to the building’s historical roots.
Throughout the design process, MOXI’s founder Lisa Sumption emphasized wanting to create a space in which visitors would feel welcome to gather, share knowledge and build relationships. The reception area does this in spades. The room has a breathtaking view of the iconic Broadway Avenue and doubles as a space for gatherings and classes. This open, multi-use space creates a sense of community immediately upon arriving at MOXI.
Frederick Tang Architecture has intricately embellished this space with furniture made from organic materials. Light woods, various stones and high-quality ceramics complement the neutral earth tones of the studio and make up a material and colour palette that has been carried throughout the entire space.
The low-slung custom reception desk is crafted from fluted white-oak slats and precise copper detailing. Hanging above is a ceiling lamp handmade from ceramic pendants sourced from France and opal orb sconces sourced from Greece, which provides a warm comforting ambience. The soft lighting melts into the terracotta-coloured walls and reflects off the bench’s brass pendants, spatializing the calming effects of the treatments to be experienced in the studio.
The smooth, curved atrium is a part of the building’s original design. Frederick Tang Architecture added a striking oval skylight to the space, accentuating the space’s organic form and bringing natural light into the studio to give MOXI an uplifting ambiance. The sunlight and cypress green walls come together to offer visitors a sense of being in nature, while in the heart of New York City.
“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. As visitors travel deeper into the studio, the green walls shift from a light lime wash to a dark moss, symbolizing the transformation patrons are meant to undergo as they enter MOXI’s healing treatment rooms.
The treatment rooms are lined in soft, serene washes and warm tones of peach and terracotta. Each room is adorned with a handpainted gradient wallpaper that ascends from light to dark as it spans from the floor to the ceiling — another reference to the physical and emotional transition of guests that takes place during wellness services.
Frederick Tang Architecture recognized the importance of creating a relaxing environment not only for customers but for employees as well. The building’s original back-of-house kitchen was given a facelift, through the installation of desaturated green cabinets, a geometric tile backsplash in sea-mist and pale pink accent walls to serve as MOXI’s staff kitchen.
MOXI offers a peaceful and tranquil escape from the fast, hectic pace of New York City. There is never a wrong time to prioritize mental health, and Frederick Tang Architecture has created the ideal environment to do so in.
The firm has transformed a heritage site in the heart of SoHo into a tranquil urban escape.