Researching Retreats

Researching | The first stages of my FMP

For my final major project I am looking at creating a service, a retreat where people can stay for a period of time and go through a series of activities and workshops which will help them to reach their potential of 100% focusing on their emotional wellbeing. After discussing my idea with my studio leader Emily Penny and gaining some positive feedback I have researched a few places which I feel are real retreats however, each working in their own unique ways. I have been researching into the different types of retreats that already exist, many have been build for many different reasons. 

List of Existing Retreats 

Health & Fitness | Spiritual  | Well-Being | Eco Friendly | Solitude | Fasting  | Nature | Day Over Night | Family | Church | Business | Marriage | City. 

Emily had suggested I take a look at a website called Designers Anonymous where unknown creative agencies work on building the creative design work behind charismatic brands. Their aim is to help clients surprise, delight and inspire their audiences through charismatic communications. 


The Ecopod | The Boutique Retreat

The Ecopod is one of Design Anonymous’s inspirational branding ideas. A west coast venue focusing on human habitations. A unique service/retreat in Zendome, Berlin where their Ecopod’s now stand. The Ecopod is light filled, open plan and a relaxing space right near the coastline. A pleasurable experience, luxurious interiors and other vacation facilities. The Ecopod’s work similarly to a hotel, a place to stay however touch on many different features. The pods leave no permanent footprints on the earth, the dome has been made from natural products and materials. All appliances have been selected especially to save power and the usage is kept to a minimum. All wood used within the ecopod’s have been FSC-accredited from the local forests. Wood pellet biomass stoves are used as heating and all furniture are recycled pieces or hand crafted. Their service has been created for travellers to escape to a guilty free 5* zone with no regrets and can be booked at a very reasonable price.

Below is a diagram | info graphic of how the Ecopod has been structured and laid out. 


A Home In The Skies | Escaping The World

Similarly to how the Ecopod has been created I have found a retreat A Home In The Skies located in California. A retreat for those who are looking to escape the world. A natural sustainable tree house that fits in harmoniously into it’s natural surroundings. Designed with many Eco-Friendly features such as compost loos and solar heating. Living off the grid is the perfect retreat. Below are some interesting photographs expressing how the treehouse stands alone and is hidden. 



 On the website their were reviews posted, below are two of my favourites. 

“With many struggling with the stresses of a fast-paced and pressured lifestyle, in a technology and social-media filled world, a life away from it all can be very appealing.”

“Whether you want an eco-escape or have designs on running your very own nature hotel, the advice is clear: Do your homework and get the right advice. Then, the sky’s the limit – quite literally!”

Creative Retreats | The Spaces

The next website I decided to have a look at is called The Spaces. Helping people to find inspiring places in remote locations. This particular website explains how retreats are no longer just the preserve of hippies and health fanatics. It has now become a service for the world to enjoy and take part in and also springing up with creatives in mind. From a Tadao Ando-designed haven in Mexico to a recording studio in a Norwegian cabin, these are spaces to re-charge and re-inspire artists far away from the pressures of daily life. 

The photograph below is one of the eight places advertised on The Spaces webpage for creatives. An amazing piece of architecture based on Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. This space has been recommended to creatives such as artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians, curators and designers. Located on a tiny remote piece of land off the north east coast of Newfoundland, Fogo Island Arts welcomes creatives from across many disciplines. The aim of these cabins are to help to encourage tourist to visit this amazing location. Guests can stay in four cabins designed by amazing architect Todd Saunders. Every cabin is built on metal stilts and each one is located in it’s own unique space across the landscape. In true retreat style each hut is off the grid, away from all the others and powered by solar panels heated by wood burning stoves. However, for those who need internet connection this is still available. 

Below are three photographs of the cabins exteriors and interiors. 




Lillstreet Loft | Art Therapy

Lillstreet Loft is a beautiful venue located in Chicago. Located in the heart of Ravenswood, Lillstreet Loft started off as your typical event rental space. Being pretty functional they have worked on an amazing one day art therapy retreat. Not being your usual retreat away from the rest of the world but being around others who have a passion the same as yours. Working on producing beautiful pieces of art which will help to relax the mind body and soul releasing stress and focusing on mindfulness. After immersing yourself in the creative process for the day, you’ll leave feeling relaxed, restored and holding a masterpiece to show off at home.


Lillstreet quotes “It’s going to take more than a ray of sunshine to restore our souls: A dose of inspiration is what we really need to see the light.”


Looking into and researching different unique retreats has helped me to open my mind and think creatively when designing my retreat for my FMP. The wide open spaces and natural environments tend to be a key element to most peaceful resorts and spaces. I am going to continue my research as well as put my ideas together into a concept board helping me to see what stage my project is at so far. 


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