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Knot Springs Env Design

Architecture and interiors by Skylab Architecture. Macrame/ plant ceiling collaboration with Emily Katz. Photographs by Brian Walker Lee.

Knot springs is a spa and social club located inside YARD, a residential building in Portland, Oregon. The client approached us with a need for a brand identity and environmental graphics.

Knot springs is centered around the spa ritual experience: caldarium (hot), tepidarium (warm), cold plunge, steam and sauna. This experience became the launch point for our inspiration. For us the identity needed to represent both the beauty of Oregon and the adventure of finding that hidden hot spring on the trail with friends. Which is why we designed the butterfly clip for the redwood-cut to be the plan view of the building,  having that story with hidden surprises. We pulled inspiration from trail signage, the symbol for water, charcoal lines, and Oregon’s history; these elements became our anchor points for the Knot Springs identity. The triangle  symbols we created translated into many different applications: brass wayfinding, hand painted icons, an icosahedron (the backdrop of our muscle diagram), and neon street signage. It was important to us to highlight Oregon artists in the project, collaborating with a Portland based photographer Ryan Leitz – who had a fitting collection of photos from alvord desert, crater lake, and painted hills – and used the photos as graphic backdrops throughout the space.