Old is New Again – Renewal at Governors Island


Courtesy of QC NY SPA

Just minutes from the bustle of Manhattan and Brooklyn via ferry, QC NY is a 74,000 sq ft Italian day resort and spa on Governors Island. RDH Architects collaborated with the QC Terme’s Design Team to debut the brand’s signature “wellness experience” in the US.

The team was inspired to re-purpose three historic McKim, Mead, and White army barrack buildings dating from the 1900s into a ‘wellness campus.’ We integrated QC Terme’s signature hydrotherapy pools within the property’s landscape to deliver a four-season/year-round therapeutic aqua-journey with unprecedented views of the Manhattan skyline. The day resort is a classic European spa with extensive offerings, from taking the “healing waters” within exotic thermal pools to complimentary heat treatments, steams, and saunas. Clients traverse various pools of hot and cold water with a 90-degree temperature differential that boosts your immune system and invigorates your body and soul. Every type of massage and body treatment is on their menu of services.

Courtesy of QC NY SPA


The idea of public bathhouses where people could meet and greet is not new. Public baths go back to the ancient Greeks, when people did not have access to private bathing. The public baths became social meeting places, teeming with local news, gossip, rumours, and political intrigue.

The resurgence of urban bathhouses, a traditional wellness experience of communal bathing, is new again! With the growth of social media and the isolating effects of the recent pandemic, a social desire has been re-born to socialize in person vs. online. Family and friends gather in pools, steam rooms, and communal saunas as a “wellness sanctuary” on Governors Island.