Health and beauty
Maria Giulia Zunino
Wellborn Building Materials Supply
Macao has been a hub of entertainment for over a century and today appears to have more in common with Las Vegas than China. Vestiges of a Portuguese colony rub shoulders with the glitzy luxury of the global gambling capital Las Vegas, which was the source of inspiration for the mini-Venice complete with canals and gondolas that is the hotel Venetian Macao. The hotel can boast some astonishing figures. With a floor space of 100,000 square metres, it is the largest building in Asia and the sixth largest in the world. It has the biggest casino (51,000 sq.m) complete with 3400 slot machines and 800 gaming tables. It is also home to 3,000 suites, restaurants, 110,000 square metres of conference halls, 150,000 square metres of shops and a 15,000 seat arena for sports events and shows.
It also houses the Malo Clinic Health & Wellness, an innovative structure directed by its inventor, Dr. Paulo Malo. Born in Angola fifty years ago, Dr. Malo is an extraordinary figure who trained as a dentist in Portugal and went on to invent the first hi-tech fixed dental prosthesis. The international success of his invention enabled him to set up specialist schools and laboratories, culminating in the foundation of the Malo Clinic. Devoted not only to dental health but to the well-being of the entire body, the clinic is renowned for the high quality of personal wellness services it provides through a multidisciplinary team of medical doctors and health and beauty therapists. The largest facility of its kind in the world with a floor area of 8,000 square metres, it combines dental treatment areas with a large and sophisticated medical spa (7 suites, 47 medical rooms, swimming pools, saunas, Turkish baths) and a Beauty Lab.
“Awakening and exploring all the senses”, “restoring balance to the pace of contemporary life”, “strengthening the body and soul”, “offering spaces devoted to vitality”, “well-being entrusted to expert hands” are a few of the principles underpinning Dr. Malo’s holistic approach.
These principles were interpreted with great sensitivity by architects from the Aedas group, the practice that designed the Venetian Macao. With 26 offices worldwide, the firm has more than 1500 architects in Asia, mainly located in Hong Kong. Through the design of the spaces, a choice of natural materials and a meticulous study of lighting, the architects created interiors that are both relaxing and exhilarating.
Designed to offer a complete sensorial experience, the complex spaces of the clinic succeed in avoiding the sterile atmospheres typical of medical facilities without sinking into kitsch.
This is largely achieved through the variety of reflections generated by the individual light sources and through the use of a multiplicity of screens and backlit surfaces, some translucent and others made of wood. These reflections transform the space into a living, complex presence enhanced by the absolute black of the seamless floor covering, consisting of T.U. collection porcelain tiles that incorporate all the experience and technological research of Ceramiche Coem. Inspired by nature, the tiling blends harmoniously into the interior and creates a surface with a strong material feel and a powerful but discreet spatial presence.
By choosing a single large size tile in a single pure colour, the architects have optimised the material’s aesthetic performance, exploiting its minimalist, neutral qualities to enhance the floors in all the spaces, regardless of their functions. So while the waiting rooms, medical spaces and corridors have an intentionally cooler atmosphere, the spa areas are invigorated by the warm, light-coloured reflections of the back-lit wood strip compositions, in some cases reflected to surprising effect from the ceiling mirrors.
Coem, T.U. series
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0.05
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): ULA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 128 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 48 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant