Photo Essay 2: Soothing Song

By Robert Nieminen

Blurring the lines between the indoors and out, the new Evensong Spa at the Heidel House Resort urges its guests to heal, energize and find personal centering in a beautifully designed space.


Nestled among wooded acres for an extraordinary backdrop, the 15,000-square-foot Evensong Spa at the Heidel House Resort in Green Lake, WI, was inspired from the natural beauty surrounding the site and serves as an oasis for those seeking to reconnect with nature and themselves. Designed by Scottsdale, AZ-based CMD Architects, the color palette and materials employed at Evensong are rich and hardy, reflecting the changing seasons, and the use of warm tones throughout the spa provide a sense of warmth in the bitter Wisconsin climate. The relationship between indoor and outdoor was dissolved by the use of large expanses of glass, along with the use of materials that were carried from inside out.

The spa building houses the reception area, retail, hair and nail salon, men's and women's locker rooms and wet areas, the labyrinth area, a café, relaxation area, and treatment rooms as well as back-of-house facilities. Evensong's exterior emphasizes horizontal planes, allowing the spa to feel at one with the ground level.

Evensong's most unique amenity reaches back through the ages to connect with the ancient healing wisdom of 13th century France, Crete of 500 BCE and Greece of three thousand years ago. The labyrinth, which is a single, circular path used for centuries as a tool for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation, is the key indoor focal feature and was the seed of design inspiration. Skylights strategically positioned in the labyrinth area create pools of light that track around the white river rock and slate inspired tile floor pattern, allowing the energy to spiral up into the sky and then down into the earth. The playful murano glass water drop fixtures and white river rock beds with bamboo stalks add to the meditative quality of this space.

"A labyrinth is a single path, called a 'unicursal,' a tool for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation," explains Scott Krause, general manager at Heidel House. "Walking a labyrinth can be a metaphor for the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are."

The spa's reception and seating area is sophisticated and inviting with its focal fireplace wall, materials such as slate inspired flooring, warm woods, natural plate steel, sheepskin covered chair cushions and an earthy brown leather tiled wall. These materials work in concert to create a warm, sophisticated and rustic entry experience. The materials used throughout the spa are durable and value conscious, yet they add a cohesive sense to the spa as well as contribute to the luxurious sensory experience.

The café and relaxation areas celebrate the views of the wooded surroundings; the two areas are tied together with a double-sided fireplace which offers a dining, meditating or relaxing environment before or after treatments.

Evensong is an oasis of relaxation, personal centering, healing and energizing for mind, body and spirit, designed to help you "Take Good Care of Your Self," as the spa's motto suggests.