Sensuum Spa was designed by four female students from Florida International University -- Carolina Cardona, Gabriela Mesquita, Rachael Cowan and Mariapia Sierra -- which received the student award at this year’s Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition. The spa and wellness center was designed for a new Florida-based cruise line, Virgin Voyages, which is owned by the Virgin group and scheduled to begin operations this year out of Port of Miami.

“Sensuum is a holistic approach to wellness through an experience of the senses. It aims to serve as a pause in the midst of constant frenzy, represented through the use of curvilinear forms that take the edge off of the fast-paced lifestyle and sharper forms commonly associated with the ship’s brand,” Rachael Cowan said. “It is also an outlet to reconnect with ourselves, while simultaneously connecting with others through a variety of communal experiences, such as the spa bar, where guests can have facials, hand massages and organic drinks. The spaces look to treat users from the inside out using natural and sustainable products, which ties with Virgin’s own brand.”
The temple for Italian ceramics features porcelain stoneware slabs from Ceramiche Piemme that effectively reproduce the finest marbles, which were used to clad the floors, walls and even the ceiling.
A series of alcoves creates an intimate, evocative rhythm along the walls of the couples’ massage room, which features the pale shades of alabaster travertine in large-format tiles from Valentino by Ceramiche Piemme’s Elegance collection in “Spagna.” Their sparkling, stippled green/gold walls reproduce some of the most exquisite coarse-grained granites. Contrasting with the pale shades of the room itself, they generate a dreamlike impression: the sensation of being in the center of the Earth or looking down onto a seabed.
With their transparency and extremely lifelike digital reproduction of natural vein patterns, the porcelain stoneware tiles from the Opulence collection by Ceramiche Piemme become the key feature of a simple, yet sophisticated interior. The Hammam is also covered throughout with the “Eccentric” deco, which stands out with its green, gold and brown tones.
“American designers are particularly discerning and knowledgeable with regard to both sustainability and surface quality,” said Davide Colli, COO of Ceramiche Piemme. “They are also very up-to-date with the latest novelties and well-informed, a point proven by these four students’ choice of materials. We are delighted that they appreciated the quality and the light and transparency effects of our collections and succeeded in making the most of them in a truly evocative project. We have put a great deal of work into both collections, Elegance and the recently launched Opulence, and they showcase the latest developments we have reached in technology, with effects never previously achieved in terms of both aesthetics and sensory impressions.”
Opulence combines style and sustainability with rare mineral shades in a material, which is both high-tech and natural, as well as completely recyclable.
Elegance is a collection dedicated to the marbles of the great Italian tradition: Condotti (white onyx), Spagna (alabaster travertine; the collection is inspired by the Piazza di Spagna in Rome), Spiga (light pulpis) and Montenapoleone (dark pulpis).