Amber Developments: Yoga Retreat redevelopment
Ibiza has long been famous for its residents’ adoration for night time activities – but in the last ten years, the island has been attracting more and more visitors who are more interested in getting present with the moment. This has seen the introduction of many health conscious yoga, spa and detox retreats across the island, with an ever-increasing demand for luxury rental villas equipped to host them. One such villa in Ibiza is Can Verru, popular with the retreat community due to its gorgeous and spacious design and professional facilities.
At the conclusion of the 2015 season, Ibiza project management company Amber Developments was commissioned to create a tranquil, yet functional yoga facility within the grounds of Can Verru. To take a previously unused ravine area close to the beautifully restored villa and transform it into a professional yoga space without veering away from its traditional Ibicencan style and décor was the perfect job for Amber Developments’ founder Gray Gillot, who is known for his expertly planned and executed designs, fast-track completion schedules and who had also worked on the original redevelopment of Can Verru.
It was important for the design to be totally organic, made completely of wood and to exhibit an all-natural feel. The new yoga facility features a raised floor above ground due to unavoidable humidity that is inherent of the island and is surrounded by lush citronella plants that give off an aromatic scent to repel mosquitoes. Gray is an expert in the field of understanding the practicalities that come with living on the island; for example, flexible roofing structures that adapt to the extreme seasonal elements. The roof on the yoga facility is Amber Developments’ first all-wood structure and is reminiscent of an alpine log cabin, made entirely of timber poles that are overlapped in pinewood and coated with a resin that allow the contraction of the wood in heat, rain, and humidity.
For the interior, the walls are clad in bamboo while the floor is finished in dark, mellow wood tones that blend with the outdoor landscape. Designed to be functional with all seasons, by winding four large fabric panels simply up or down, they allow the area to be completely open to the environment or entirely sheltered.
The organic structure can accommodate 18 yoga mats comfortably and the acoustics of the building allow for perfect music circulation. Ambient, subdued lighting creates the perfect amount of peace and high-powered economic fans hang from the ceiling to keep the air fresh. By night, the area is illuminated with soft, atmospheric and moody lighting resulting in a dramatically beautiful transformation after dark.
Amber Developments also designed and implemented a narrow cut log path set in charcoal coloured volcanic stone that winds its way around to the facility’s sumptuous massage area. Set up for two people, the massage beds are enclosed in a breezy area surrounded by beautiful white linen. It’s easy to imagine the complete feeling of relaxation that would wash over as you find yourself encased by the earthy elements and calm atmosphere of the custom designed space.
The entire project, from conception to completion spanned a speedy four-month period and was completed in March 2016, just in time for a new season of yoga retreats. The overall result is a totally serene, blissed out space enveloped by natural colours of the island and the sounds of pine trees rustling in the breeze – the perfect place for any yogi to become centered in a moment of zen.