The “Foam Spa” by Japanese designer Kenya Hara is certainly the strangest bathtub that we’ve ever come across. Instead of water the spa uses creaming foam to envelope users in a bubble bath that we’ve seen describe as being embraced by a melted marshmellow.
Ms. Hara created the Foam Spa for LIXIL, a Japanese kitchen and bathroom fixture manufacturing company which is the largest in the country. LIXIL took Hara’s design to Milan for the 2012 Milan Design Week. She’s described the foam spa experience in detail: “Imagine time passing pleasantly – you are enveloped in warm foam; you’re reading a book, watching a movie, feeling the air and the light on your skin. You’re bathing in creaming foam. More than a new style of bathing, this is something that will liberate a new horizon of human desire. Witness a small slice of the future of bliss and relaxation that we human beings can savor, from a perspective in which the human body, our living space and technology are treated as one.”
Part of Hara’s design is technology that allows for controlling water and air. The bath mixes air with hot water through a generating unit to create the foam, which acts as a lid to keep the water from cooling while simultaneously blocking steam from passing through.
You’ll note in the photos that the foam does overflow the tub. However, the spa comes with a “plate” at the bottom that the foam pools on. We couldn’t find any information where the foam goes. It looks like it could either drain or get cycled back through the tub.
However, the message of this spa isn’t to worry about things like that. Hara’s design is all about bliss and relaxation, and even just looking at the photos is pretty soothing.