CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa, Carefree, Arizona

The launch of the CIVANA brand signifies a new offering in the health and wellness sector focused on healthier well-being, accessible to a much wider market. 

  By 3rd story - View to new spa building from the dedicated yoga lawn

By 3rd story - View to new spa building from the dedicated yoga lawn

Located in the Sonoran Desert, the renovation of the original Carefree Resort and Conference Center into a premiere wellness destination resort is slated to have a soft opening mid-February of 2018 with all but the 20,000sf sustainably-orientated SPA scheduled to be finished in October 2018.

3rd story is leading the interior design and architecture. Below are the initial thoughts behind the design, process and concept.

Process:

We have a passion for repurposing existing buildings so exploring the unique potential of the existing structures has been the driving force behind the designs.  Each building has great ‘bones’ which enables us to incorporate this new concept in an established environment giving a new lease of life to a landmark property in the Town of Carefree.

The Sonoran Desert is such an amazing environment dominated by expansive views and incredible light which has influenced both the programming of the spaces and material choices. 

Taking advantage of the views to the layers of mountains to the North and West has been an important goal from the start of this project.

With this property being located only a few miles from our office it holds a special meaning for us and gives us the opportunity to be part of a truly significant project right on our doorstep. 

We love and respect the majesty of the Sonoran Desert and the influence Frank Lloyd Wright and his peers have had on the architecture in the area. The original architect was heralded as one of the early mid-century architects of this area.  

The repurposing of the existing property into a wellness resort speaks to us on many levels.  We are passionate about health, wellbeing and mindfulness and aim to reflect these qualities in all aspects of our work, from the culture of the firm to the design initiatives we introduce for the benefit of both the employee and guest experience.

Design:

The overall design intent for the resort is to strip back the conflicting architecture styles and simplify the building forms to respect the original Mid-Century Design. The result will be cleaner lines with a more horizontal emphasis.

With regards to the aesthetics, this is definitely a case of ‘less is more’, therefore, the materials will be centred around a monochromatic neutral color palette made up of high quality natural materials – stone, wood, metal & glass - that seeks to enhance the guests experience subtly yet profoundly.

By ‘decluttering’, it will allow the guests to be free and open to receive the full benefit of the Civana experience.

A unique feature of the resort will be in the arrangement of the Guest Rooms. We Implemented a floating bed concept where the massing of the bed is now in the middle of the room taking advantage of the views versus staring at a dead TV wall.

  By 3rd story - View of King Room with the bed facing towards the exterior views

By 3rd story - View of King Room with the bed facing towards the exterior views

This has two distinct advantages; to remove the focus from the TV often found opposite the bed and to capture incredible views of the Sonoran Desert and mountains through the large patio doors.  This will connect the guest back to nature while in their room, grounding and inspiring them.

The centerpiece of the property is the dedicated spa building which will have 24 treatment rooms, a salon, retail, a pre and post treatment Thermae (water circuit area), an outdoor lap pool and a lounge with views of the Black Mountain.

  By 3rd story - Interior view of the spa's pre-treatment area

By 3rd story - Interior view of the spa's pre-treatment area

There will be three swimming pools on site, two resort pools and one lap pool dedicated to fitness.   We have also designed a state of the art fitness center along with multiple movement studios that will cater to a well-rounded program of classes and activities.

civana.com


3rd story designs Fat OX - A Modern Italian Restaurant in the heart of Scottsdale Arizona

'Authentic and Sophisticated' were the first words given to Ben Meyer and Anissa Mendil of 3rd story when they met the team behind the Fat OX to describe the concept they were looking to introduce to the Scottsdale market. A modern Italian restaurant to raise the bar in the Phoenix Valley, the kind you would expect to find in L.A., New York, San Francisco or London. 

 Fat OX Entry Sign

Fat OX Entry Sign

The location for the restaurant was the corner of Scottsdale Rd and Lincoln, the former Quilted Bear and more recently Davanti. A prime address at one of the most prominent corners in Scottsdale. Built in 1974, the single story building offered a great opportunity to  be re-purposed into something extremely special. 

 Former Quilted Bear, Scottsdale

Former Quilted Bear, Scottsdale

 Cheff Matt Carter

Cheff Matt Carter

Following a tour of the vacant space, Chef Matt Carter outlined his menu, Brian Raab shared his vision for the restaurant and Mark Drinkwater challenged 3rd story to deliver a unique design unparalleled in the Valley. 

With this being a new concept we knew that it would evolve from week to week and month to month.  Being part of something new where there are many unanswered questions and unknowns makes it exciting to be part of the evolution.

Part of the analysis of the existing building included a Feng Shui study to determine the energy of the building which is based on the year of construction and facing direction.

This information influenced both the layout of the restaurant and other design decisions throughout the process.   

 Feng Shui

Feng Shui

Armed with the brief and a vision, 3rd Story team set to work pulling together mood and inspiration images.

Our goal was to create a timeless design which reinforced the culture of the restaurant and complimented the extensive menu representing all twenty regions of Italy.  

We were inspired by mid century design, Italian fashion,  European travel and iconic celebrities of the 50's and 60's. Specifically we were drawn to leather details, stitching, train carriages, luxury yachts and the layers of sophistication evident throughout Italian culture.

 Fat Ox Restaurant - Moodboard

Fat Ox Restaurant - Moodboard

ARCHITECTURE

Architecturally, the existing property with its Southwestern design elements was not representative of the design intent so we knew we were going to need to make some pretty significant changes to the building.  

However, we didn't want to create an architectural monument, rather a design that reflected the modern Italian concept together with enhancing its visibility from Scottsdale Road. We wanted the design to be approachable yet sophisticated, worthy of a fine dining experience.

The main elements that were changed and introduced were the new steel and glass single story addition allowing views both in and out of the restaurant to the bar area, we relocated the main entrance under the new cantilevered roof to make it more prominent  together with creating space for the new dining terrace.  The existing windows were replaced with full height steel and glass folding storefronts which created an indoor/outdoor dining experience.

By removing the Southwestern details and replacing them with cleaner lines and modern materials it has resulted in a more cohesive and attractive design representative of the concept.   

 Fat Ox Restaurant - North East Elevation

Fat Ox Restaurant - North East Elevation

 Fat Ox Restaurant - New Entrance & Terrace

Fat Ox Restaurant - New Entrance & Terrace

 Fat Ox Restaurant - Steel and Glass Addition

Fat Ox Restaurant - Steel and Glass Addition

 Fat Ox Restaurant - New Entrance

Fat Ox Restaurant - New Entrance

LAYOUT

We made significant changes to the interior layout to ensure that the flow and function was appropriate for the restaurant and the menu being proposed (a traditional style of Italian dining consisting of antipasti, pasta, proteins and desserts). 

The kitchen was completely remodeled with all new equipment together with being made bigger to accommodate the volume of plates required, a second kitchen was added to serve the private dining room along with a second bar.  The restrooms were reconfigured and made twice the size in order to be appropriate for this quality of restaurant.  We made significant structural alterations in order to open up the dining space all in addition to the previously mentioned front addition and dining terrace.  

 FAT OX Restaurant - Floor Plan

FAT OX Restaurant - Floor Plan

INTERIORS

With the interiors we knew the devil would be in the detail. We wanted to be representative of the craftsmanship found in high-end fashion and car design both staples of Italian culture.

The introduction of a variety of materials allowed us to express our design sensibilities in many different ways while ensuring it spoke to the culture and original concept (fashion, travel and authenticity). We have achieved this by using a  combination of leather, Italian denim, bronze mirror, marble, brass and wood all complimented by an extensive lighting package.

 Fat OX Restaurant - Main dining area

Fat OX Restaurant - Main dining area

By changing the materials and seating styles throughout the space the guests are able to enjoy different dining experiences depending on where they are located in the restaurant.

The new steel and glass addition has a cafe feel which feeds off the energy of the main entrance and the adjacent bar.  The bar is perfect for casual dining but still has  a feeling of sophistication punctuated by a mixture of materials ranging from marble to Italian denim and from  brass to diamond tufted leather bar stools

 Fat OX Restaurant - Bar Dining

Fat OX Restaurant - Bar Dining

The main dining area is bathed in leather, wood and bronze mirror which provides an elevated dining experience reminiscent of an old world train carriage or luxury yacht.  The highlight of the space is the feature wall which is a lattice of mirror and leather inspired by an Italian handbag. 

 Fat Ox Restaurant  - Main Dining Area

Fat Ox Restaurant  - Main Dining Area

 Fat Ox Restaurant - View towards main bar

Fat Ox Restaurant - View towards main bar

 Fat Ox Restaurant - View towards fireplace room

Fat Ox Restaurant - View towards fireplace room

The fireplace room offers a quieter dining experience under a golden ceiling but with views back towards the entire restaurant. With the doors open to the dining terrace it is a true indoor/outdoor dining room.

 Fat Ox Restaurant - Fireplace room

Fat Ox Restaurant - Fireplace room

The kitchen is visible from the bar and main dining area but was never intended to be a true open kitchen concept.  Instead, it is contained behind a steel and glass wall which matches the front addition.  Glazed with hammered chicken wire glass it is possible to see movement, shadows and light which adds a layer of energy to the restaurant. 

 Fat Ox Restaurant - View towards kitchen

Fat Ox Restaurant - View towards kitchen

The restrooms were another important element of the design as we wanted all areas of the restaurant to be visually stimulating.

The women's restroom is designed to feel like a back stage area with large expanses of mirror, feature lights, a feminine color palette and black and white images of iconic women from the 50' & 60's preparing the ladies for their 'return to stage' when leaving the restroom.

 Fat Ox Restaurant - Women's Restroom

Fat Ox Restaurant - Women's Restroom

The men's restroom on the other hand is a complete contrast and  is inspired by a traditional barbers shop. Rich wood framed mirrors, a dark green wall color and brass picture lights speak to the design intent.  A series of framed black and white photos showcasing the natural beauty of the female form adds a layer of interest for the visitor.

 Fat Ox Restaurant - Men's Restroom

Fat Ox Restaurant - Men's Restroom

FURNITURE

The majority of the furniture is custom designed and where possible we used a range of local manufactures to bring our designs to reality. 

images to follow

 

BUE GRASSO!

Fat OX is a direct translation of Bue Grasso which is a prize winning breed of cattle, celebrated annually at a festival in the Pidmont region of Northern Italy, 'La fiera del bue grasso'. The name has a deep meaning and speaks to both traditions of the past & present as well as bringing in a little irony which is prevalent in Italian culture. 

Fat OX Restauran - Logo

 

The evolution of the project has resulted in a unique product which represents the collaboration between 3rd story and our client together with all those involved in delivering the concept.

We are extremely grateful to have been part of creating this new concept and we wish Mark, Brian, Matt and their entire team every success with Fat OX

www.ilovefatox.com


Fat Ox Scottsdale - Before & After Images

 Fat Ox Restaurant - Exterior Before & After

Fat Ox Restaurant - Exterior Before & After

 Fat Ox Restaurant - Bar Area Before & After

Fat Ox Restaurant - Bar Area Before & After

 Fat Ox Restaurant - Main Dining Before & After

Fat Ox Restaurant - Main Dining Before & After

3rd story Intern Receives 1st Place in Student Design Competition

Photos courtesy of Tom Jordan

We're very proud to announce our intern, Ponti O'Neill, as the 1st Place Winner of the Modern Phoenix Student Design Competition presented by Ikea and SMoCA! Her 'DeLight'-ful transformation of the SMoCA Beadle Box into a modern children's nursery room will be on display at the museum throughout the week of April 9th.

O'Neill holds a BSD in Architectural Studies from ASU, and is about to complete her Master's in Construction Management. We are so proud of her accomplishments, and we can't wait to see what her future holds!

 

 

An Inside Look at the Design Process for the Hotel Valley Ho Project

3rd story's Director of Interior Design provides an inside look at the design process and inspiration behind the recent refurbishment of the iconic Hotel Valley Ho:

"The research into the mid-century era was an important part for our design inspiration. But in order to make the new look of the rooms unique and timeless, we reinterpreted these mid-century elements  instead of replicating them. Therefore the guest experience is still rooted in the history of the property, but offers the look and comfort of a modern urban oasis. And by respectfully blending the past with the present throughout the design process we were able to achieve the perfection of place that will last well into the future." - AM