Nestled in the centre of Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Alba Thermal Springs and Spa is a wellness retreat offering high-end rejuvenation experiences set within a natural environment. There are over thirty outdoor pools, including geothermal pools, a rain pool, cold plunge pools, and botanical pools, and buildings and facilities housing treatment rooms, and dining and relaxation spaces.

We were commissioned to provide lighting design and acoustic consulting services to reflect the ethos of the retreat and provide visitors with an immersive experience which connects with the natural world. 

Our designs enabled technical equipment to be hidden from view, maintaining the retreat’s minimalistic design while providing a sensorial experience for guests.

The lighting design complements the building’s form and surrounding natural elements and represents the concept of the flowing nature of bodies of water. 

Outside, the acoustic design minimises external operational noise, allowing the sounds of the natural landscape, flowing waters and wildlife to be experienced. Inside, mechanical noise is diluted, providing guests with a quiet, calming environment to relax. 

Lighting design creates tranquillity

Collaborating closely with Hayball architects and the broader design team, we developed lighting designs that integrated with the architecture and pools, produced installation and lighting control documents, and oversaw onsite commissioning.

Within the retreat buildings our lighting design created softly illuminated spaces to promote relaxation. Key elements included guiding lights, an illuminated feature wall, and underwater pool lights which reflected moving patterns on the staircase above. 

Indirect lighting with minimal downlights creates softly lit spaces and the overall ambient light enhances the warm tones of the interior design and architecture. The lighting design extends to the façade, outdoor pools and grounds, providing essential lighting for guests to safely navigate the property while maintaining the beauty of the landscape and dark night sky experience.

The harsh coastal environment with a high mineral content in the spa pools created a challenge for our lighting team. Integrating lighting within exposed concrete structures required additional coordination and selection of appropriate equipment to withstand the elements. Our team carefully selected and tested various light fixtures to enhance durability and reduce future maintenance requirements.

Acoustic design for quieter spaces

Inspired by the acoustics at the Melbourne Recital Centre, Alba Thermal Springs and Spa’s vision was to create an exceptional guest experience, prioritising the pivotal role of sound.

External pool equipment was assessed and treated acoustically to minimise noise. This treatment allowed the natural sounds from the thermal springs and rain pools to be clearly heard by patrons. Noises such as rainfall or wind rustling foliage, are augmented to contribute to a sense of solitude.

Interior treatment rooms were designed to minimise external acoustic disturbance,  maintain privacy and promote relaxation.


  • IESNZ (Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand) Award of Excellence 2023.