indoor pool that is gently lit up at night
The neutral pool’s inverted pyramid has a cavity that emits color-changing light. Photo by Emily Andrews.

Steam the Day Away in New York’s Latest Bathhouse Locale

Jason Goodman and Travis Talmadge founded Bathhouse to fill a gap in New York’s wellness scene. Somewhere between a luxury spa and a spartan Russian banya, it combines the social aspects of bathing culture around the world with moody lighting, modern amenities, and restorative treatments. Bathhouse debuted in Williamsburg in 2019. A second location just opened in January in Manhattan’s Flatiron District with interiors by Rockwell Group. (Colberg Architecture served as partner architect.)

How Rockwell Group Created an Urban Oasis for the New Bathhouse 

indoor pool that is lit up by fluorescent lights
Select thermal pools are heated with the energy byproduct
of Bitcoin mining. Photography by Adrian Gaut.

The project intrigued Rockwell Group founder and president David Rockwell, an Interior Design Hall of Famer whose firm celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. “An urban oasis was something I hadn’t done before,” he says. The 35,000-square-foot, three-story space is mostly underground: Guests enter on the ground level, but the pools, saunas, treatment rooms, and café are all below. The subterranean location evoked a sense of drama for Rockwell, who is also a Tony Award–winning set designer (his latest is the Broadway revival of Doubt). He and his team conceived a backstory based on the narrative template of the Hero’s Journey, creating a series of portals that lead visitors down to the baths.

interior sauna area with bright orange lighting
The cedar-lined dry sauna centers on an altarlike heater where sauna masters perform Aufguss, a sensory ritual. Photography by Emily Andrews.

“We added a ritualistic aspect to passing through the different spaces,” Rockwell notes. There’s a sense of adventure and curiosity as one moves deeper inside. On the ground floor, a black-granite wall with a vertical strip of light marks the staircase entry, while in the corridor leading to the below-grade treatment area, walls of layered travertine in slightly different colors—dark to light—allude to rock strata, as if descending through the earth. Other thresholds use fluted glass, mirrors, or compression; one domed vestibule has a Dean Barger mural. On the lowest level, guests receive the payoff: pools illuminated in tones corresponding to temperature. Some sit under inverted metallic-painted pyramids with a cavity that emits color-changing light, which you can only see from the water. It’s like discovering a mythic civilization under West 22nd Street. 

Explore the Newest Bathhouse in New York’s Flatiron District, Designed by Rockwell Group

indoor pool that is gently lit up at night
The neutral pool’s inverted pyramid has a cavity that emits color-changing light. Photography by Emily Andrews.
David Rockwell headshot
Rockwell Group founder and president David Rockwell. Photography by Clemens Kois.
woman standing in the middle of the pool
At Bathhouse’s Manhattan location, by Rockwell Group and Colberg Architecture, an inverted pyramid, painted to resemble patinated metal, hangs above the neutral pool. Photography by Adrian Gaut.
dining room with moody lighting and curved furniture
Pendant fixtures in the café evoke river rocks. Photography by Emily Andrews.
interior shopping area that is lit by fluorescent lighting and has platforms in the middle
The ground-floor reception sets the tone for the cool organic color palette. Photography by Emily Andrews.
interior of one of the spa rooms with wooden columns and stone walls
Green-purple slate tiles clad the Russian-style banya, where a stone-encased gas furnace heats the room to 194 degrees. Photography by Adrian Gaut.
long hallway with dark moody lighting
Black-mirrored portals lead guests through the locker rooms. Photography by Emily Andrews.
dark moody room with comfy couches
Lounge seating in the café creates a communal gathering place. Photography by Emily Andrews.
corner of room with dark walls and moody lighting
A domed vestibule greets guests on the first of two underground levels. Photography by Adrian Gaut.

read more