Satoru is the story of how an ordinary urban ground floor apartment in Kolkata, India gets transformed into a sensory deprivation centre and encapsulates a person into a journey of holistic healing of the Body, Mind and Soul.
Eduwik Architecture Excellence Awards 2022
First Award | Interiors – Hospitality (Built)
Project Name: Satoru
Project Category: Interiors – Hospitality
Studio Name: Atelier Molten Musing
Design Team: Sonia Guha
Area: Kolkata, West Bengal
Location: 492, AE Block, Sector 1, Bidhannagar, Kolkata – 700064, West Bengal
Consultants: Dekor Design for execution, Emerald Pools
Photography Credits: Neelutpal Das, Samya Haldar
The intent being recuperation from effects of mundane routine life, it became vital the space transcends the resemblance to conventional living. Therefore the project was designed to go beyond the functional brief comprising of Reception, Lounges, Meditation Room, Float Room, Pantry, Store and Bathrooms. Instead a journey was weaved that sets the benefactor on a path to relaxation even before the therapy begins.
The space is divided into four distinct zones corresponding to stages of the therapeutic journey – Self-Awareness, Self-Association, Self- Introspection and Self-Dissociation. Throughout orchestrated Light, sound and chromatic stimuli help simulate the essence of ancient cavernous meditative spaces. To accentuate the novelty not only orthogonal orientation, shapes and elements are avoided but also material, finishes, colours used are unconventional.
The experiential journey starts the moment someone holds the bespoke door handle to open a solid metal door. One enters an achromatic tunnel, dim UV light reveals black and white stripe pattern that starts at the floor and traces up the walls to the ceiling. The portal ending in a black lacquered glass mirror reflects only a silhouette – symbolically the Soul. Altogether it gives the impression of entering a different world, unlike familiar day-to-day spaces.
Entering the next door, the first thing one notice is “self” reflected in a strategically placed mirror. It is surprising to meet “oneself” instead of a reception! The space is bare except the red corrugated metal sheet encircling the volume – heightening energy and alertness, the colour marks the first stage of the journey, Self Awareness.
Lights instead of coming from ceiling, emanates at the floor level lighting up a channel of gravel. To enhance “unfamiliar” feeling, the metal cladding gently curves to eliminate corners and directs the movement to face an abstract sculpture resembling a serpent.
Serpent has important overtures in most ancient civilisation and helps us reconnect with our primal nature. Symbolically in Kundalini Yoga, energy moves like a serpent and is awakened by specific meditation techniques. This dark zone housing layers of sheer curtain to demarcate private niches is about – Self Association. Acting as both pre and post float lounge, patrons can book a corner and contemplate their association to healing, wellness, creative projects or mundane problems! This facility gives the project a unique edge.
For Self – Introspection zone where a guided meditation session will be held, a bespoke room was designed with seamless walls and ceiling that converges upwards into a black hole – signifying the infinite. After meditation the final point of the journey is the Float room, an acoustically treated dark monolithic volume that ensures complete sensory deprivation. In one of the world’s largest float tank Satoru promises complete dissociation from the cares of the outside world inducing cathartic release, physical healing, and maybe a rendezvous with the soul.