Hitting the Redline pix
When he's not racing motorcycles, Michael Czysz is taking design into overdrive—try to catch his Spa at Red Rock, Las Vegas
Debra Scott -- Interior Design, 11/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
Designed by the Architröpolis Corporation, the Spa at Red Rock in Las Vegas has a 30-foot-long lap pool. Alongside it, a concrete-composite wall backs seating covered in solution-dyed acrylic.
The reception area's central column isn't load-bearing; it's used to separate the sign-in and waiting areas as well as partially concealing a service corridor.
A travertine stair, featuring glass balustrades and acrylic handrails, leads from the spa down to the salon's atrium.
The banquette and ottomans below the salon's hair dryers are upholstered in stamped vinyl.
Limestone takes over in the men's spa's whirlpool area, which has its own showers; they're flanked by the windows of the steam room and sauna.
A VIP treatment suite for couples opens to its own outdoor shower.
The couples suite also faces a private courtyard planted with bamboo.
Wood-composite slats curve to form a cabana.
Walls in and around the women's whirlpool showers are porcelain-tiled.
Underwater fiber-optic fixtures up-light the building facade's glass mosaic tile.
A 7-foot-square custom ottoman, wrapped in leather, dominates the lounge where spa guests are picked up and delivered between treatments.
Silk velvet curtains off the women's changing room.
A pair of ottomans covered in woven resin anchor a lounge by the men's whirlpool.
Backlit signage is polished chrome.
Glass mosaic tile clads the outer wall of the treatment rooms, which are surrounded by a passageway with stained-oak flooring.
Pedicure stations face custom manicure chairs covered in embossed leather.
Throughout the salon, custom pendant fixtures have acrylic shades.
Polyester sheers line the hallway to the men's spa; flooring is limestone.
Strands of Capiz shells cascade from reception's custom chandelier.
Orchids bloom on a custom lacquered display table.
|In design terms, Las Vegas still wallowed in the Dark Ages as few as five years ago. New glitz had replaced faded glam at an array of theme hotels. A sophisticated aesthetic seemed deader than the Rat Pack.
Steve Wynn's influence is largely responsible for the mod restaurants and lounges currently found all over Sin City, but Architröpolis Corporation principal Michael Czysz deserves some credit, too. In 2001, he was hired to design the spa of Green Valley Ranch, a boutique resort built off-Strip in Henderson, Nevada. His firm introduced modern organic elements into that environment, convincing casino capos that good design need not be inaccessible.
"I'm not good at designing for the masses," Czyzsz demurs. It's true his repertoire is heavy on nightclubs and celebrity residences. But Green Valley Ranch proved he could create a hip yet inviting environment. On the strength of that success, he was hired as the master planner for Red Rock Resort, a 70-acre casino hotel at the gateway to the wilderness of Red Rock Canyon. He also designed one resort interior, the spa and salon.
Throughout that 25,000-square foot space, Czyzsz left the ubiquitous Zen style in the dust while managing to appeal to Left Coast hipsters and Midwest matrons alike. To provide such a broad demographic with a memorable experience, he integrated natural elements suggested by the canyon without being too literal or contrived. He used lots of stone, but not from the nearby mountains, as might be expected. Instead, he abstracted the canyon's sandstone as an extravagant use of red, a color Czysz employed extensively in the Miami house he designed for rocker Lenny Kravitz. "People used to say red is the color of anger—that, if 'you put a bunch of people in a red room, they'd kill each other," Czysz says. On the contrary, he believes, red is the foundation of the Vegas spa's "dark, moody" ambience.
The corridor to the men's spa is lined on one side with cherry-red sheers, which maintain a constant glow during day or night. In a lounge, a huge square ottoman is covered in gator-stamped tomato leather. Blood-red vinyl covers the banquette beneath the salon's hair dryers.
Mirrors, used sparingly, are mostly tinted bronze. Lighting is predominantly low-wattage and indirect, the absence of natural light being an element borrowed from the Architröpolis repertoire of nightclub interiors. "Natural light feels good," he adds. "But it doesn't make people look good."
The double-height atrium connecting the first-floor spa and lower-level salon is dominated by a 38-foot-high wall of '60s-style white latticework. With all those rounded cutouts, the wall could be a relic from the old Tropicana, and Czyzsz is definitely a fan of vintage Vegas: Note the reception area's tinkling shell chandelier—pure casino bling.
The most dramatic departure from typical Strip destinations is the sophisticated use of water features. Never mind the lagoon at the Venetian or the fountain at Caesars Palace. To avoid a typical corridor of doors "that could be found in any insurance company," Czyzsz says, he hid the spa's treatment rooms in three pods that center on a reflecting pool. An oak-floored passageway winds around them, providing access.
In many ways, the project is as unusual for Architröpolis as it is for Vegas. But Czyzsz thrives on challenge. Several years ago, he launched a company to manufacture his innovative MotoCzysz C1, a single-clutch motorcycle that's generating serious buzz among biker aficionados. "In motorcycle design, you sweat a thousandth of an inch," he says. "In architecture, it often comes down to arm-waving."