The owner of Balance Studio, Michelle Heines, appointed us to design the new premisses for their Pilates studio in Tyler, Texas. We set out to achieve a high quality, inspiring calm and bright space of highly bespoke nature where sports and architecture would go hand in hand. We wanted a space that would be in line with the expectations of Balance Studio’s unique clientele, who receive highly personalized training sessions of maximum six participants.
The project contains references to both the history of the building’s architecture and the urban setting, including an exposed brick wall, an illuminated glass facade, and hardwood floors, commonly seen throughout the original downtown buildings.
The biggest challenge was to fit a relatively large brief into a small nits, which required a focused approach to material selection and space planning. The space needed to fit reformer Pilates machines, a reception area, changing rooms, sufficient storage for all the props required for the classes, lockers for the clients, a toilet and a break area.
With an aim to create a very open space and uninterrupted flow, we designed the project to utilize a series of frosted sliding glass doors across the entire wall leading into the studio. These can be closed completely during a private session, or left partially open during an event or an open studio session. This wall of doors separates the areas without compromising the studio’s open feel. It also allows light and air to circulate through the space while creating an intimate atmosphere in the main studio.
From the reception area, these doors can act as a barrier between the reception and the main studio by strategically closing doors that are part of the flow of traffic. This prevents people from walking directly into the exercise floor, while still allowing them to see the sessions through the openings in the door wall.
Through more use of frosted glass, we managed to give privacy to the storage and restroom areas. All of these programming elements are disguised behind frosted glass panels.
All materials have been put in place to feel un-intrusive, simple, yet thoughtful, and the tactile experience of the space is purposely made part of the experience of the exercise. The textures of the different materials create different sensorial experiences for the customers, bringing back full awareness into their bodies after the Pilates sessions.