How would Zaha Hadid design a spa?

As the only building that Zaha Hadid designed both the architecture and interior, the unveiling of the Opus has been a much anticipated legacy. The Gulf News headlined an article with ‘The Opus in Dubai listed as one of the most anticipated buildings set to shape the world in 2020’ – quite the statement. So let’s break down our first impression.

The Mission Statement

The Opus, although a mixed-use development with offices, serviced residences and restaurants, cafes bars and spa is now named as one of the top 10 hotels in the world yet it was first proposed in 2007. The proposal promised to

‘explore the balance between solid and void, opaque and transparent, interior and exterior.’



The balance between ‘solid and void’ is seen from first glance. The distanced-yet-connected two towers coalesce to a cube shape however the dramatic contrast is made thanks to the orthogonal fluid void central of the structure, the result bends reflections and alters our perceptions.

Art is subjective and what an artistic form we have here – do you see a natural erosion of the cube? A water bubble travelling to the surface? A space vessel ready for take-off? Or perhaps a Dali-inspired distortion?

01 Opus Lobby


Next, let’s take the balance of ‘interior and exterior’: The tiers seen in the lobby seem to grow with the illuminated levels offering a comforting cocoon-effect despite the minimal styling.

In the spa foyer, the exterior is literally brought inside with the wall’s inward imposition: a statement piece such as art or wallpaper is traditionally placed on the walls, yet here we see a futuristic feature from the fabrication itself.

01 Spa at Opus Entrance
01 Opus Spa Treatment Room

The Juxtaposition of Materials

Fluid and angular lines are contrasted with man-made materials against organic textures, creating a contrasting-yet-complimentary fusion. The floors feature a biophilic break by switching from wood to marble, an effect also mimicked on the walls. The glazed gloss white ceramic basin has the same sheen as the smooth resin counter, yet notice how these rigid materials are in featured in fluid forms to soften the décor – such as the round countertop basin and Chrome arching Aquaeco mixer. With the future of washroom and hygiene becoming ever evident as touchless, the Aquaeco touchless infrared mixer stands proudly at the wash station.


Blurring the lines between opaque and transparent can be shown through clever lighting choices right from the exterior’s twilight installation and glowing lobby through to the spa’s sumptuous showering. Lighting is a prominent and prevailing aspect throughout the Opus, with halo illuminations imitating light breaking through clouds from above and adding an artistic ambience from lower levels. Likewise, the LED multi-function shower head lets one escape an imagine themselves under a Bali waterfall, with the chromotherapy lights offering a futuristic chromatic escapism.

Sanipex Group is proud to add this iconic spa to our portfolio – contact our Specification Team to help us assist you in creating a dream scheme for your project.