MOTIVATED by his life-long interest in the philosophies of the East and the West, Chavalit Frederick Tsao founded Octave with the support of his brother Calvin Tsao 9 years ago, and opened The Living Room by Octave last year.
“It was the perfect timing to bring the Octave philosophy into this rapidly-growing society, where people are confused or lost in their busy lifestyles,’’ he said. “We would love to help people... benefit from our curated wellbeing platform, which was born out of a 21st century worldview combining the latest Western science and the wisdom from esoteric Chinese traditions.
“The world now needs a 21st century worldview that embraces all wisdoms of traditions and is backed by scientific research,’’ he added.
Tsao started meditating in his 30s. As a practicing meditator, he has attained an acute awareness of himself and those around him, strengthening his belief that all individuals have a responsibility to progress and grow. The Living Room was born as the urban wellbeing platform by Octave. Its mission is to guide city people in Shanghai to their true state of clarity, to a journey of discovery of the body, mind and soul, according to Tsao.
The Living Room, situated at the corner of Jianguo Road W. and Taiyuan Road, also functions as a Lab for Octave. Striving to keep the environment essentials of living, the design focuses to create a calm and meditative space appropriate for customized and integrated programs. Programs are created with an integrated approach to address physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of health. The Living Room by Octave brings together world-class practitioners in a variety of wellbeing disciplines, including fitness training, nutrition, psychotherapy, physiotherapy, yoga and meditation as well as life coaching and traditional Chinese healing. It also houses a gourmet, organic restaurant Thought for Food, and a Children’s Enhancement Center for kids aged six months to three years old. Octave will also soon open its first flagship project: Sangha by Octave, an 189,000-square-meter retreat at the Yangcheng Lake in Suzhou. This special location also boasts a 14-square-kilometer park and an ancient temple. After only one and half hours’ drive from Shanghai, one will arrive in another world, where Octave Retreats, Octave Homes as well as wellbeing programs and services are designed to create a seamless connection between people and nature.
“We expect to build a learning and wellness community at Sangha dedicated to enhancing connections with nature, ourselves and each other,” Tsao said. “Imagine yourself part of a community of like-minded souls, each about to embark on their own personal journey to clarity. Every comfort and luxury is at your fingertips. We all look forward to one destination: a better self.’’
Calvin Taso, a principal of Tsao & McKwon Architects, invited Zhang Yonghe, the father of modern Chinese architecture, and Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, the founders of Neri&Hu, to design Sangha together with him via different expressions yet with a similar design philosophy. The design strives to strip away the non-essential and bring to the fore that which creates true value in life.
The mindful nature of the Sangha community is reflected in the way it respects and integrates with the environment. The community avoids newly quarried stone, utilizes passive ventilation systems that reduce energy consumption, and other environmentally minded initiatives. All in one, it is a sanctuary that promotes reflection and insight, away from the noise and energy of urban living.
Tsao says the At One Wellness Hotel is at the heart of Sangha, occupying a private swathe of shoreline on the banks of Yangcheng Lake. It is a wellness retreat that features zen-like rooms and suites, pools, a spa, a medi-spa and treatment facilities. Its integrated program is crafted for each individual through a combination of mind-body practices, therapies, world-class integrated consultations and treatment plans. “Our world-class treatment is supervised by a passionate international team of therapists and physicians. We recommend our guests come to stay at least a week where they can truly benefit from our integrated holistic lifestyle and start a journey of mindfulness and total rejuvenation for the body and soul.’’
While At One Wellness Retreat offers an escape from hectic daily life by encouraging visitors to slow down and reconnect with themselves in a calming and soothing environment; the Fellow Traveler Retreat invites you to unleash your inner energy in a lively and vibrant environment of community exchange. It is a learning concept hotel with services, facilities and events designed to support group and individual learning experiences.
A major benefit of the Sangha retreat is its immediate access to leading holistic wellness offerings and innovative learning opportunities in an engaged community of like-minded people.
Sangha is a complete expression of the Octave philosophy; it is where the Octave vision to guide people to a true state of clarity fully comes to life. At One Wellness Hotel and Sangha homes will launch in September.