After being diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes at age 11 and struggling with health-related issues throughout the years, Kimberly Ross found great relief in acupuncture after receiving treatment from Gabriel Sher, now ORA’s Director of Acupuncture. The concept of ORA was conceived during Kimberly’s time at Harvard Business School, in an attempt to make acupuncture more approachable to others experiencing health issues.
Located in the East Village, the first ORA combines the traditional techniques of ancient Chinese medicine with a modern, convenient experience at an accessible price-point. Rockwell Group was inspired by ORA’s desire to create a holistic wellness experience that is as effective and efficient as it is luxurious. Blending sleek lighting, curved walls, raw materials, a signature blue and white palette mixed with walnut and brass and copper metal accents, and touch points from Chinese design and tea culture, we created a welcoming and expansive-feeling oasis in an intimate, L-shaped space with soaring ceilings.
Guests are greeted at ORA in an open lounge that doubles as a tearoom. A marble reception counter also serves teas and tonics that complement the acupuncture and cupping treatments. A custom, dip-dyed blue and white rope installation with an undulating form hangs above the counter and is a striking presence from the street.
A grid of white and walnut open, apothecary-style shelving behind the counter displays products and teas, and contrast with the existing brick wall opposite. The lounge features custom leather seating with Chinese joinery-inspired details. Los Angeles-based potter Peter Sheldon created a ceramic art piece for the end of the treatment hallway and ceramic tabletops in the lounge.
The wood floor is stained a deep indigo. Swing-arm sconces by Brendan Ravenhill feature aluminum shades that reflect the grain pattern of their wood molds, for an organic and modern look.
The seven treatment rooms are angled next to each other with curved, crimped exterior walls that create the illusion of privacy as guests enter and the feeling of expansion as the exit.
A “Misty” runner by David Rockwell for The Rug Company guides guests to their room, using bamboo silk to depict a deep, rich indigo blue ombré motif that fades to white at its edges.
Treatment rooms contain guest niches with custom wood storage cabinets, a metal hanging frame system with a round mirror, lights, clothing hooks, and phone charging station.
A prep stand holds a brass pole and portable modern lanterns that cue different treatment rituals, depending on their placement and illumination. Fiberglass pendants have a rice paper appearance.Rockwell Group’s graphics team designed the floral pattern used in ORA’s branding, creating a custom print using medicinal flowers in a Chinoiserie-inspired pattern.
The pattern is also stenciled on the mirrors in the treatment rooms..