Bilder: Douglas Mandry
From the street the first thing one notices of the yoga studio is the mass of sheer white curtains in the large openings of the windows on the prominent ground floor, framed by the black glazed panels ofthe facade of the Vulcano Tower, a high-rise complex designed by the French architect Dominique Perrault in Zurich, Altstetten, a district in the west of the city.
The client, Intoku, offers range of yoga styles and otherpractices. Alongside the two main yoga studios, the programme for their new studio space also included two massage rooms and changing rooms, along with a main hall from which all the other rooms are accessed.
Together, the rooms form a hierarchy and a so a different spatial experience, where one moves through a sequence from dark to lightrooms, unified by the use of grooved stone panels on vertical surfacesand polished stone on horizontal surfaces. The careful use of the grooved stone on the walls emphasises the textile nature of the interior cladding, and which strengthens the interaction between all scales of the building.
Approaching from the south west corner of the courtyard, one comes across the entrance vestibule of the studio, a space in itself, clad in mirrored paired panels of Italian walnut veneer. The wall extends outwards to form a seat, upholstered in a warm dark grey Tuscan leather, where visitors can sit a while.
Once you enter the main hall you encounter a completely different ambience and forget the world outside. There is an indirect warm light that illuminates the grooved travertine walls, while the floor is made using a dark marble.
The bespoke pieces of furniture take up the motif of walnut and leather from the entrance space, this time combined with a hint of bronze. The chesterfield sofas and armchairs create the feeling of a living room, and a set of full-height shelves serve to divide the corridor that leads to the two studios, the massage rooms and changing rooms.
The changing rooms are fitted out almost entirely in Carrara marble to create a welcoming, refined atmosphere. The massage rooms make dark brown-black marble, which creates a warm and calming ambience.
The two large studios are mainly finished in tones of white and characterized by the softness of the curtains and the herringbonepattern of the wooden parquet floor, to create a pair refreshing, welcoming spaces.
The project develops a rich architectural language, by restricting the design to three main tones, and extends it by questioning our habits of categorization, which serves to unify the space as a whole.
Text by Philip Shelley