Have you been to the airport lately and caught sight of a spa store adorned in orange and green? If so, Wentworth alumna Iga Wyrzykowski created that.
In the past two years, Wyrzykowski helped build or remodel about 40 airport spas nationwide with XpresSpa, one of the largest spa networks in the country. The spas provide various massage services, including manicures and pedicures, to help travelers relax between flights. The San Francisco location also couples with a gym to provide services from both worlds in one place, while XpresSpa is looking to partner with chiropractors and other specialists at other locations. Wyrzykowski is busy designing for them all.
She notes that the pop-up spas have especially been a hit with young travelers. “It was important to keep things updated for millennials,” Wyrzykowski says, noting that the color scheme was one area that she focused on to provide a modern look.
Wyrzykowski, BSA ’12, MARC ’13, worked for Heitler Houstoun Architects in New York upon graduating, managing more than 30 Drybar hair salons from schematic design through construction. She believes a smaller company can be a good option for architecture students first starting their careers.
“You get to see everything within the project, from the design side to the financial side and the construction side,” she said.
After breaking into the industry, Wyrzykowski decided to try her hand at a larger company, taking a technical designer role for Gensler, where her clients ranged from Verizon to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In 2017 she joined XpresSpa as a construction project manager and was responsible for the overall development project management of the spas, including project proposals, budgets, and timelines. In 2018 she was promoted to director of store design and construction.
Her advice for aspiring architects? “Focus on an industry you really want to pursue,” she says, “learn as much as you can and branch out to that.”
— Yunjia Hou