Imagine walking by a peaceful lagoon surrounded by tranquil waterfalls, lush landscapes and positive energy. Your mental energy is focused on healing and renewing your mind, body and spirit. Unlike the traditional aquatic therapy centers seen across America today, this Dream Facility breaks the mold by taking a more holistic approach to healing.

Graphic courtesy Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative

Based on the ancient Chinese philosophy of feng shui, this design celebrates the “circle of life” and nurtures guests toward a natural state of joy. From outside, the building resembles an ocean wave with its soft, flowing, organic curves and shimmering, shifting colors. The facility rises up from underneath the earth’s surface and ascends toward the heavens with walls made of natural stones, reflective metals and glass. Native landscaping and waterfeatures flow in and out of the structure, portraying the constant flow of energy and fostering the intimate connection between people and nature. As such, this facility inspires clients to find harmony, peace and well-being.

The interior plan emulates the human form and the seven chakras of energy within the body, using continuous lines and circular motion to remind visitors of the perpetual flow of life’s energy.

Essential elements of water, metal, wood, fire and earth are blended with cutting-edge, sustainable Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design features. The LEED features include solar and wind power, renewable/reusable materials and natural lighting.

The healing journey begins as guests drive through a meandering labyrinth, where they start to become centered, calm and stress-free. They can enter the building through either the north or south entrance to reach the central atrium. The north entry provides quick and easy access. The south entrance, however, involves a gently rising 300-foot-long, free-form path, introspective sculptures, a sweeping Zen water garden and curved titanium walls that meld into a glass ceiling to preserve the guest’s connection to the heavens.

As people stroll along the “spine” or outer rim of the center, iridescent curved walls reflect the light, creating a sense of movement and symbolizing transformation.

The central atrium, known as the Kiva or crown chakra, is the spiritual epicenter of the facility, housing all administrative functions. Filled with warm, natural light and clothed in regional stone, its cylindrical shape points to the heavens.

Three terraced levels offer aquatic treatment, spaced at 2-foot-high intervals and separated by a full-height glass wall. Within each zone is a distinct therapeutic experience ideal for healing. Strategic colors, textures and plants, varying air and water temperatures, fiberoptic lighting, state-of-the-art sound systems, foggers, misters and varying sizes of mineral- and salt-chlorinated pools combine to create these unique environments.

Pools in all three zones have underwater social benches and observation windows, underwater treadmills and bikes, removable rail systems, portable lifts, a variety of deck tethers for in-pool therapy and exercises, and touch-pad controls to customize air or water temperatures instantly.

Zone one is the Zen Pool area. Three pools, surrounded by warm, rich earth tones and lush gardens create the perfect soothing environment for people who require the most intensive therapy. The large therapy pool’s movable floor system takes the pool from zero-depth entry to 5 feet deep. A 103-degree, raised whirlpool with a vanishing edge and a hot springs pool with a custom injection/filtering system for therapeutic soaps and oils encircle the therapy pool. An integrated hot sand therapy beach gives guests another opportunity to measure their overall wellness.

The second zone is the Sanctuary, which forms the “heart” of the center. A dramatic 25-foot-tall, three-sided natural waterfall and a stone fire pit mark this area as the center’s main social hub and retreat. A series of four pools hug the edge of the waterfall feature. Two raised, cascading whirlpools stream into the large therapy pool, with a 55-degree, cold-plunge pool at the opposite end. Like the Zen Pool, the Sanctuary’s therapy pool graduates from zero-depth to 5 feet deep, but this pool also features a bridgelike movable bulkhead with telescopic ends and a secluded grotto hidden behind a 15-foot waterfall curtain.

As clients progress through therapy, they advance to the third zone, the Oasis. More like a resort water area than a therapy pool, the Oasis is a playful stop. It features a 200-square-foot-long lazy river, a bubble pool with integrated water sprays and a small relaxation alcove. Pool depths vary from 3 to 5 feet. A wide variety of wall jets are positioned throughout the river to aid in different treatments. Scattered along the waterway are several challenges that test the clients’ reactions and measure their well-being.

A number of social areas, contemplative gardens, overlooks and bridges encourage a sense of community. A mosaic of palm, ornamental and fruit trees, tropical plants, and seasonal blooms accent the décor and signify renewal. Glass ceilings and indoor dividers provide unobstructed views from one end of the building to the other, and from the inside to the outside.

Adjacent to the zones is a wellness spa. Various complementary treatments including hot rock, Shiatsu and Reiki massage, acupuncture, nutrition, counseling, fitness testing, wet rooms, and other wellness amenities are incorporated into a soothing indoor environment. Clients will enjoy full-service locker rooms, co-ed steam and sauna rooms, individual treatment rooms, and a physical therapy gym. In addition, a multipurpose room is available for stretching, yoga, and other community programs and activities.

Mechanical rooms, sanitation systems such as UV filtering and recycle/recovery systems for water and air are concealed underground.

This Dream Facility redefines aquatic therapy as we know it and, instead, celebrates the human spirit. All ages, abilities and fitness conditions will find a path toward overall wellness, advance their well-being and celebrate the joy of good health!