Dosha Spa

Concept, Design and Construction
Taichung, Taiwan
Design / Febreary,2005–May,2005
Building / June,2005–April,2006
Site Area / 1828.10㎡
Subtotal Area / 1990.08㎡

The flagship of Dosha Spa is located in a bustling district of Taichung. Against common thought, the undesirable traffic noises and overgrown neighboring buildings become the driving forces of our design to create an oasis amongst dreary city blocks. The building is set back from the street to stage a front yard and provide a friendly sidewalk. The green front yard invites passersby to stop for a brief moment of tranquility or proceed along a winding path into the building for the rejuvenation of body and mind. The path runs by magnolia trees, old plum trees, and through the lobby, the courtyard, and into aroma chambers – a path for preparation.

The building is two stories high. Surrounded by tall buildings, it seems like a small jewel box floating in a sea of green trees. The jewel box sits on top of glass-wall façades, which enclose the first floor. The glass walls and open-plan design make the first floor look porous and transparent from the street. The jewel box, the second floor, in contrast, is a neat concrete block with punched-in windows radiating light like shining gemstones. The surface of the concrete has the texture of China fir tree but shows a warm, yellow tint. This is created by tanning China fir molds with fire before casting. Such is our deliberate act to achieve an honest, humble, yet unique architecture that matches the ideal of Dosha.

To block external noises and maintain privacy, a double-wall façade is designed for the second floor to condition aroma chambers. Between the two walls, we create tiny balconies as personal sanctuaries to see the sky, to feel the wind, to enjoy the sunshine, and to observe time through the movement of light and shadow. Each aroma chamber opens to one such balcony. Taken as a whole, it is a resting place where the mind and body can breath deeply and freely.

The car park in the basement is also made breathable with natural ventilation and lighting by raising the first floor above ground.

The heart of Dosha Spa is a peaceful and tranquil central courtyard filled with trees and running water. Surrounding the courtyard on three sides are transparent glass walls so that the greenery and soothing sound of water can permeate into the building. The courtyard is reachable from the café on the first floor. In the courtyard, a precious 200-year old Orange Jessamine stands out from camphor trees and beech trees. The courtyard is the treasure in the jewel box of Dosha Spa, which, in turn is a jewel box of the city. It is a treasure that has many appearances presented by the seasonal variation of trees.

Natural materials and humble architecture express our attitude and philosophy towards life and the environment. In Dosha Spa, our expertise in architecture and construction is the hidden foundation that supports the bridge where people and nature connect.