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The Splash Lab LA Showroom

Project The Splash Lab LA Showroom
Client The Splash Lab
Sector Showroom
Location California
Architect McLaren Excell

Project overview

The Splash lab has now opened the doors of its brand new LA showroom, allowing clients to come and see the products, the concepts and the way we are changing the washroom. This is a key launch for The Splash Lab, and we are proud to reveal the design techniques, ideologies and concepts behind the creation of our new showroom.

Working closely with Mclaren Excell, and using the raw architectural qualities of the existing building in Helms Bakery, we created an evocative user experience, whilst establishing a clear spatial hierarchy to the unit. Through the use of unique design and materials, The Splash Lab was able to create a showroom taking clients on an experience through the flowing design.

The brief

The outline scope of the brief was to create The Splash Labs US flagship showroom within a 1930’s factory unit. The Splash Lab were clear: we wanted to create something unique that resonated with their passion for design, experience and exploration.

The space needed to showcase The Splash Lab’s products, but it was equally important to create a space that echoed with the brands principals – an emphasis on high quality and inventive design, the importance of materiality, and how these can positively contribute to the consumer experience and enhance the brand value. This would be achieved by developing an environment where the architectural intervention and the tactile qualities of The Splash Lab’s products coexist in harmony, celebrating the coming together of products, materials and architecture, where the presence of each reinforces the other.

The solution

When approaching the site, we made the decision to embrace the raw architectural qualities of the existing building whilst creating a distinctive identity for The Splash Lab. We wanted to explore how the core activity of The Splash Lab – namely ritual purification and cleansing – could provide a compelling and prosaic setting for the display and marketing of their wares.

Much like a church or cathedral, the monumental interventions establish a simple structuring to the space. To continue the analogy, from the narthex you enter a central nave which is flanked by two side aisles. There is a transcept with a sculptural steel table as the central altar, which is intended to encourage participation through interactive displays and formal seminars. A triple-arched apse provides the axial focal point and marks the end of journey, while a screen divides the public areas of showroom ‘worship’ from the private area of the staff ‘choir’ – or, in this instance, meeting rooms – helping to establish a clear threshold between public and private spaces. This simple and timeless format provides the setting for showcasing The Splash Lab, and evokes a sense of spirituality and personal ritual, heightening the user’s experience and imbuing the products with a degree of gravitas.

The Splash Lab has well crafted and beautifully designed products. I always go to them first to create a holistically designed restroom.
Brent Otsuka, Manager of Interior Design Fentress Architects • Architecture practice

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