An otherworldly experience awaits visitors on the banks of London’s River Thames. Designed by local studio Loop.pH, the Nine Elms Horticultural Spa & Apothecary Experience is a temporary architectural structure that envelops participants inside a fragrant medicinal fog. Inspired by the futuristic works of Buckminster Fuller, this part-greenhouse-and-part-pneumatic-bubble installation recreates the atmosphere of a mist-filled traditional bathhouse while minimizing water use.
The Nine Elms Horticultural Spa & Apothecary Experience is an experimental public space created to coincide with the ongoing Chelsea Fringe Festival and the London Festival of Architecture. Made from an inflatable PVC membrane, the temporary dome is supported by two tonnes of steel scaffolding and latticed birch plywood arches and flooring. Potted plants are placed along the birch latticework.
Birch plywood arches frame the entrance to the dome, where visitors enter through two slits. Water is pumped into a nebulizer fog machine that disperses the water as light fragrant mists, each created with the help of medicinal herbalists. The scents of the mists vary throughout the day, starting with hints of grapefruit, lemon balm, and peppermint; before switching to bergamot, juniper berry, and parsley in the afternoon; and finally a fragrance combining chamomile, lavender, and basil oil at night.
The installation is located at the Riverside Gardens by The Tower – One St George Wharf, where it will stay until June 7. The public space will run four different workshops—lasting 15 minutes each and open to a maximum of 15 to 20 people at a time—that include meditation exercises and a futuristic tea ceremony experience. You can find more information here.
Images via Loop.pH