Simone Micheli, an internationally renowned architect, since the beginning of his career highlighted the value of architecture on a human scale, stimulating sensoriality. We talked to him about the architecture of wellness, and what it means to design on a human scale.
Simone Micheli, what does this mean when it comes to wellness architecture?
By wellness architecture, I mean an architecture conscious that the design needs to encompass its spatial and time dimension, to meet its real demands. The increased attention to the environment, which fortunately marks our age, must find an effective response, satisfying real expectations.
The quality of time is one of the most precious assets of our daily routine, and I, as an architect, feel the urge to provide spaces which give the user the opportunity to spend time in the best possible way. I think we are all part of a big living being, in motion, where every single part is related to the surrounding spaces, to build a whole that works in harmony.
The architecture of wellness, therefore, is not only the architecture of spaces dedicated to wellness, such as spas or wellness centers, but any project should strive to improve the quality of the environment, therefore of the life of those who spend their time there.
How are architecture projects for wellness carried out?
As with any kind of articulated work, in an architectural project one has to pay attention to the different key factors and their interaction. Therefore, the materials and their features are critical elements. It is necessary to know the psychology of colour and form, imagining the effect of a given composition. Finally, it is essential to investigate the actual needs of those who are commissioning the work and those who will occupy it, as well as the interaction with the surrounding landscape.
Is architecture for wellness a rising trend in the contemporary design landscape?
Finally, the value of architecture in the making of a human scale space starts to be appreciated. Buildings, objects, urban clusters come from the needs of those who will use them, and are organised by a common goal, shared by multiple players: designer, client and user. The higher awareness of the contemporary society, its need for wellbeing despite the hectic pace and the shortage of time available, therefore, are the basis for the new project.
What do you wish for the future?
I hope that the new technologies will allow everyone to learn, and deepen their knowledge, so that there is always room for critical and independent thinking. I wish the new designers to be brave enough to innovate, to make new proposals, to create more satisfying spaces, where well-being is the starting point and not the end point. (Chiara Sgreccia)
(Featured image, Private Spa in Sarajevo, photo by Jürgen Eheim)