Meta Physica Wellness Center

Photography: Michelle and Chris Gerard

Nestled within a 1,100 sq. ft. suite inside a historic Corktown building, Meta Physica is Detroit’s only full-service wellness center, offering infrared saunas, therapeutic massage and an organic raw juice bar. The business mission of healing the mind, body and spirit drove every element of the design process. We knew that we needed more than just good-looking design that avoided luxury spa cliches; we needed an environment that actively participated in the work of healing. From the moment a client walks through the door, the interior encourages them to let go of life’s daily stress, trust that they are in good hands, and focus on self-care.

In order to create a space that is tranquil, revitalizing and well-balanced, Anahi Hollis Design utilized personal and professional experience to research and a develop a stunning interior emphasizing the idea of affordable luxury and instilling the idea of well-being for all.  

Designed with the owners’ favorite tropical and desert getaways in mind, Meta Physica was conceived as an “oasis in the city.” Lush textures and a jewel-toned palette create an immersive, dream-like experience. The design subtly blends the warmth and finesse of Art Deco, the clean simplicity and stabilizing lines of mid-century, and the glamour of Hollywood Regency.

Clients are greeted by a custom-built reception desk designed around a found, vintage brass showcase. The gentle curve of desk navigates the client in one of two directions; either the reception area or the organic juice bar.

For this project, every inch and detail was considered to be part of a solution. A historic archway, which needed to preserved, was re-purposed as the framework for a small waiting area. Its moldings became the framework for an inset, velvet channel-back bench.

Working within a small multi-purpose space demands nearly invisible solutions. The organic juice bar, located at the rear of the room, is spatially delineated from the soft warmth of the waiting area with cool, refreshing material choices. Lake Placid quartzite countertop and dark glazed brick backsplash tile provide a necessary contrast.

Additionally, a vertical soffit was created to conceal the HVAC supply duct. Wood paneling was applied to create the illusion of cabinetry, then stained and finished to coordinate with the reception desk.

The client’s movement into one of the five private service rooms for therapeutic massage, acupuncture and infrared sauna is an important transition in the process of letting-go of the outside world. The main corridor implies this shift with a darker palette and repetitive patterns that suggest the next step. The peaceful tone is reinforced with palm leaf wallpaper and custom-paneled wainscoting that lead the client along a warmly lit corridor.

Each room carries its own color palette reminiscent of tropical nights and dessert days. Walls and ceilings throughout the entire space are painted in the same color to create a cocoon environment — darker, muted teals and velvet window treatments in the massage rooms help to conceal the outside world while the warm coral selected for sauna rooms energizes and envelops the client. In its entirety, Meta Physica provides a holistic  healing experience and this approach is echoed through the design.

  • Detroit Design Awards 2022: Second Place, Use of Color