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.
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.
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: TK@ MAXEL MEDIA; Photos: Minjie WANG;