Matt Dougherty • Photography by Grant Legan and Kris Tamburello •
December 24, 2019
Only an avenue away from Manhattan’s bustling Union Square is the Well, an urban retreat where members are able to pause their chaotic lives to focus on their mind, body, and soul. As the brainchild of Kane Sarhan, Rebecca Parekh, and Sarrah Hallock, the trio envisioned a one-stop wellness shop for a full mind-body connection. Enlisting some of the world’s best doctors, health coaches, massage therapists, and thought leaders on mental and emotional health, members are offered a “different level of care and community,” says chief creative officer Sarhan. “It’s not only that they’re all in one place, but it’s also that they collaborate together.”
To bring their vision to life, Sarhan turned to longtime friend and former colleague at Starwood Capital’s SH Group, Liubasha Rose, founder of New York-based design studio Rose Ink Workshop, to craft the inaugural outpost (Miami and Los Angeles are on the boards). “She has an ability to create an immersive experience that makes you feel hugged,” says Sarhan of Rose’s plan for the interior.
For the 18,000-square-foot, bi-level space, Rose created a serene yet sensual design with enough curves to highlight the shape and depths of an actual well. In the foyer, light trickles down from the first floor to the lower level, creating the illusion of a bright space despite it not having much natural light at all.
Past the foyer is the palatial member’s lounge. Two wood-clad columns, inspired by those found at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, stand guard at the entrance while a contemporary mobile, made from capiz shells, floats from the ceiling and captures a rainy moment in perfect balance. “It’s taking whatever chaos you’re having outside or in your life and finding the balance within,” says Rose. “It’s about feeling better, getting more centered, and finding clarity.”
Throughout the Well, each room is outfitted with their own signature look, but connected by a crisp white palette accompanied by natural wood accents. The restaurant, for example, is inspired by a greenhouse, while the reflexology room has a green wall of herbs that are harvested for use at the restaurant. In contrast to the rest of the club, the lecture library’s upholstery pieces were done in dusty pink and vibrant orange, injecting an intrinsic warmth to the room. Here, colorful books donated by yoga instructor Eddie Stern line bookshelves.
Other treatment rooms include the healing center (once a member steps behind the door, “everything glows in this beautiful, white textured plaster,” says Rose) and the relaxation room (inspired by the crystal Fortress of Solitude in Superman) that dazzles with a high-gloss ceiling and custom sconces that look like natural crystalline formations. The meditation room, on the other hand, was inspired by simple stone huts in Mexico. “You’re meant to sit there and sweat out whatever is happening in your life,” Rose says. “To me, that’s the ethos of the Well.”