M.E.N. Arena Waterfall spa, Brewery Wharf, Leeds:

Waterfall spa, Brewery Wharf, Leeds

a place of relaxation

Brewery Wharf, Leeds city centre
“The hippest spa destination” Grazia magazine
Voted Yorkshire's top spa by The Times.

Roberta Fulford Roberta Fulford Roberta Fulford Roberta Fulford
A Ladies only, luxury city centre day spa.
Budget: £1 million
My role: architect and designer
Entrance & Reception
Walnut and limestone with bespoke glass tiles, oyster metallic wall covering
Relaxation Room

Brewery Wharf, Leeds city centre
Lounge Bar and Restaurant
Waterfall spa, Brewery Wharf, Leeds
Spa area - with sauna, steam room, Rasul mud room, 2 wet treatment
rooms with hay bath, snail experience shower and superspa pool
One of six treatment rooms – each has unique artwork
Waterfall spa, Brewery Wharf, Leeds
Corridor area – bespoke walnut lighting
Manicure area through to spa
Door detail and
decorative feature


Waterfall spa, Brewery WharfTo create a unique luxury ladies only day spa. Ebac had secured the new-built, empty property on Brewery Wharf, which was one huge concrete open space with full height glazing along 2 elevations. I was given a list of treatments rooms and facilities that would ideally be included, with some highlighted as a ‘must’ and an instruction to do something very special. That was one of the most open briefs I have ever been given.


Waterfall spa, Brewery WharfI was acting in the role of architect and designer with the project management side split between myself and Ebac’s team. The first and most important element of the design was the layout. This would not only ascertain how many of the facilities we could accommodate within the space, but also how it might flow and how a day spa might ideally be formed. Most properties already have some fixed spatial criteria – such as some internal walls or existing mechanical system – but this space offered a completely blank palette. This was to become a very private space for semi-clad ladies and the design had to meet this challenge of utilising the high profile glazed frontage whist at the same time offering privacy once beyond the threshold. This was achieved by designing a very curvaceous layout, which maximised the reception visibility and display opportunities and yet retained most of the space for the spa and its delights.

Waterfall spa, Brewery WharfThere aren’t many commercial interiors that are more of a science than spa’s – the water and humidity alongside the super-comfort factor pose quite a challenge. Getting the technical matters resolved, such as mechanical and electrical design, planning and building regs approvals had to be an important part of the creative process – function and form always have to go hand in hand. The resulting layout had achieved both and Ebac were very pleased to see that it accommodated all that was on their list and more.

The interior design and its finishes:
I try to avoid using anything expected or normal and so 99% of the interior is bespoke. My first thought was that turqiouse mosaic tiles must be avoided as they seem to have become something of a cliché in the spa and bathroom world. However, the circular shower enclosures and curved walls I had designed called for a tiled finish that could follow these lines. I designed a glass tile which is 6 cm wide by 80 cm tall and had it made in three colourways, so each shower is unique. The casegoods and loose furniture are walnut and glass and were made to my design drawings. Colourschemes change as you move through the spaces – but all have a neutral, natural palette with contrasting neon flashes of, for example, lipstick pink and turquoise. Arguably the most unusual and visually striking of the spaces is the relaxation room, in which I had installed 4 relaxation pods formed from ‘Shimmerscreen’ beaded curtains in copper and steel, surrounding circular and semi-circular beds within.

The result generally is a sexy, sophisticated series of spaces, which flow well offering an apparent feeling of space and luxury.