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Azure Magazine November December 2022 Cover: The Residential Interiors Issue

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elysium spa treatment area with plants and person walking towards sauna

Less truly is more when it comes to the interior design of the Elysium Spa in Bratislava. Thoughtfully designed by Slovakia-based studio GRAU Architects, Elysium Spa’s minimalist interior makes space for only the finest of details. With a name inspired by Greek mythologyelysium translates to island of the blissful — the spa is a safe haven for those trying to escape from the visual busyness of the city. Inside the spa, a notable lack of physical elements breaks down the barrier between the body and mind, allowing patrons to easily slip into a meditative state upon entering the space.

spa with blue tile flooring white walls and indoor plant with glass ceiling
close up of blue tile flooring with white walls

Deep blue ceramic floor tiles reference Bratislava’s Grössling, a historical site where visitors would undergo procedures that purified the body and soul. The blue tiles also mimic the calming effects of flowing water — making for a perfect place to sit back and meditate. The array of skylights above cast a natural light that moves throughout the day and changes with the seasons, creating a unique ambience for each patron.

Elysium Spa main area with white walls and blue tile flooring with plant decor
elysium spa daytime natural lighting white wood interior

The Elysium Spa inhabits the basement of a historical building, of which GRAU Architects have preserved the original brick vaulted ceiling in their design. The decision to keep this original design feature is an homage to the architectural history of Bratislava and to honour the architectural details used in similar spaces. The exposed brickwork also serves as a reminder of the building’s structural strength, which has been repurposed as a solid, grounding and protective feature for those looking for shelter from the stresses of the outside world.

spa concrete steps and hallway
spa interior with concrete steps and blue tile bar with white bar stools

The concrete staircase leading into the open lounge area is also original to the building. The black varnished walls in the entryway contrast the bright whites found throughout the space and indicate that the spa-goer’s symbolic transformation begins the moment they step inside the space. Custom-made ash veneer wood tables and stools provide spaces for repose while taking up as little physical and visual space as possible in the lounge.

elysium spa lifestyle image man in a towel walking out of sauna barefoot
Elysium Spa man in sauna relaxing light brick ceiling and white walls

There’s nothing quite like destressing in a warm sauna, and GRAU Architects have strategically executed the perfect golden-hued lighting in the one at Elysium Spa. The light rods are uniquely placed beneath the benches, concealing the light source, and when combined with the heat of the sauna, the light they emit resembles the glow of the sun. This novel lighting effect underlines Elysium’s overall intimate ambience and that allows it to be more than just a spa but a space for healing.

lifestyle man in towel in spa opening glass door

GRAU Architects’ Elysium Spa is undeniably the ideal space to escape from the outside world, and take a moment to sit back and relax. The spa brings together a plethora of natural elements to create the utmost calming experience.

GRAU Architects Embrace Simplicity to Create a Minimalist Spa

Thoughtfully designed by Slovakia-based studio GRAU Architects, Elysium’s minimalist interior makes an exception for only the finest details.

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