A Milan Secret Garden and Wellness Concept Lab
June 30, 2014 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
What was once an historic movie theater within the green Parco Trivisio of Milan’s fashionable Brera design district, debuted last year as a secret garden and wellness concept lab for Gessi, the Italian Private Wellness Company.
Appropriate to the building’s origins, the Gessi concept lab is like an experiential theater which invites the audience into a luxury lifestyle story whose “wellness philosophy” is all about creating soothing spaces for centering one’s inner energy.
Vistitors tour of seven room vignettes each drawing stylistic inspiration from different cultures including the Mediterranean countries, Japan, Scandinavia, Morocco, and Russia.
Resembling real living spaces, the themed installations provide a multi-sensory experience in which designs are to be, according to Gessi, “experienced, worn, and breathed.”
Launched for Salone del Mobile 2014, the new Cono collection is Gessi’s “contemporary fusion art for the bathroom” which features organic oval shapes inspired by a natural cone of light.
Much of the showcased design interprets a current trend, the fusion of exterior and interior that brings nature and natural elements indoors.
In one room, top of page, a double height vertical garden forms a verdant backdrop of foliage for a luxurious tub and shower creating the ambiance of an indoor/outdoor room.
Exotic woods, stone, and natural wovens contrast and blend with solid brass and glass. Open to the public, the experience begins with a reception counter that sits upon a sculptural assemblage of solid brass plumbing pipes–Gessi’s signature handmade solid, not cast, brass fittings which are a work of art.
Melding technology and ecology in a 1500 sq. meter multi-level space, several two story digitally-controlled waterfalls cascade into illuminated pools providing a cooling mist for visitors and and needed humidity for surrounding green walls and vertical gardens.
The concept lab is a narrative of a new style of living that reflects Gessi’s awareness of and commitment to the environment and resource conservation.
Gessi representitives travel the globe to explore how remote people harness energy naturally and self-sustainably, then implement much of what they bring back into production. In an agreement with the city of Milan to manage groundwater runoff, the Gessi concept lab collects no water from the municipality, sourcing it exclusively from groundwater which they continually recycle. Even the chroma therapy LED lights are powered by the water and use no electricity, operating instead by a turbine run by the recycled water.
Also a concept store with everything for sale, visitors can bring home any of the eclectic collection of objects and unique one-of-a-kind items.
After an elegant lunch in Gessi’s private dining room overlooking the gardens, I left the concept lab with an expanded palette of global design inspiration. And when the performance ended, I felt a welcomed sense of well being.
Nota Bene: My trip to Milan with the Modenus BlogTour was made possible by the generosity of the following sponsors: Modenus, BLANCO, Clever Storage by Kessenbömer, Dekton by Cosentino, National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), and Gessi. All opinions exressed herein are uniquely mine and not indicative of any sponsor opinions or positions.
Unless otherwise noted, photos by Robin Plaskoff Horton for Urban Gardnes.