IZIL SPA DESIGNED BY BRAND CREATIVE WINS HEALTHCARE & WELLNESS DESIGN OF THE YEAR AT INDEX DESIGN AWARDS 2022

August 17, 2022

The INDEX Design Awards is reputed as the Middle East’s most trusted and independent design awards whilst being the first programme in the industry to adopt an anonymous judging review process. Celebrating innovative interior projects, the agencies and the people behind them, INDEX Awards is open to interior design, architecture and fit-out firms applauding exceptional out-of-the-box leaders within the design community. On the 15th of May this year we joined over 400 leaders of the regional design community and celebrated the award-winning work by some of the most creative design minds and left the ceremony victorious with awards in-hand.

Our beautiful project, Izil Spa, won for best Healthcare & Wellness Design of the Year at INDEX Awards 2022 and with our hearts on cloud 9 we reflected over the journey we travelled and challenges we overcame in the designing process to form, and create the now well-renowned Izil Spa.

Developed by means of a two-stage concept truly personal to this brand, the retail space was created first and shortly followed by the health and wellness concept that houses personal care and hammam experiences. The now well-established Izil retail experience in Dubai Mall has sprouted into a calming oasis this past October that transports its visitors into an exclusive Moroccan escape. This aesthetic is a complete contrast to the Moroccan pastiche we’ve come to know. Inspired by the deconstruction of the Amazigh alphabet embedded into the Tadelakt plaster used throughout, the concept allows for an earthy, textural quality that celebrates a simpler side of the Kingdom. Ultimately Izil is a contemporary, soulful celebration of the nomadic underground bathhouses used by tribes in ancient times. 

This project allowed us to truly incorporate the opportunity to infuse sustainable thinking from the onset of the concept.  The Tadelakt plastered walls are natural, lime-based plaster indigenous to the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.  Both decorative and waterproof, it has a honed, smooth surface reminiscent of natural stone. This ancient craft creates a seamless finish and offers elegant nuances of colour and grain, flexible to avoid hairline cracks. We made sure to also focus on the joinery work on the perimeter, utilizing Arreis – a sustainable fibreboard (no added formaldehyde, recycled FSC wood fibre content) and one of the few brands available through a local supplier (reducing carbon footprint).  This joinery substrate has proven to withstand time and daily use whilst still falling within the budget of typically used MDF.  The epoxy flooring brand used, Florock, contributes to five LEED credit categories but still performs well in both wet and high traffic areas.

The handwash counters, oil mixing station and cash desk utilize Corian as the main finish – a product which can be heated and curved to appear as seamless. Corian was specifically selected for its hygienic nature, ability to maintain high traffic and usage around water and oils, low VOCs and 20% recycled material in it’s composition (with our particular colour selection).  

For the lighting, we collaborated with our contractor to source locally available LEDs – a source of light proven to contribute to the conservation of energy. The lighting was not only efficient but also strategically located (studied through experimentation and site mock ups) as to not disrupt the seamless vaults and curves in the design.  The challenge was to provide appropriate lux level counts for ambience and comfort whilst still effectively highlighting work areas and retail shelving.

 

From a planning perspective, our strategy had to include a way to capture footfall in a very short span of decision-making time. We studied the average time customers take in Dubai Mall (in this particular corridor) to walk by our space.  Through observation and quick survey, we found that a person will stop and consider walking into a new brand (not known to them previously) within the first 5 seconds of observing the shopfront.  For this reason, we decided that an open and unobstructed approach was best.

Ultimately, the core purpose of Izil’s uniquely personal interiors is to disqualify the cliches and misinterpretations of the Moroccan culture and tradition. This was done through an introspective design concept that encapsulates the Berber culture in a uniquely modern way. Trailed with memories of the Founder’s grandfather’s home; an earthy, cavernous grand dwelling is intertwined with environmentally sustainable materials that creates an intimate hideaway. The Izil brand is now synonymous with being “the” leader in the local clean and natural skincare segment.  The success of our previous retail shop design undoubtedly led to the successful launch of the current spa. 

We sincerely thank Index and the judges for the recognition and everyone in the industry who knows us and are genuinely celebrating with us. We congratulate all the winners and nominees for the wonderful work done. Who inspire us to keep going and push ourselves even if they don’t know it!

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