Seoul – Our recent magazine issue St-W 117 explores all things health and wellness, and addresses the impact of design in our physical and social lives. Vonsung Studio presents another compelling example of the intersection between design and wellbeing with the new Pilates the Balance studio in Seoul.
Created for the Korea Pilates Federation, the studio’s sleek and inviting interior draws people into the space for a workout session or a fresh drink from the juice bar. Beyond designing the 300-sq-m space, Vonsung was tasked with creating an institution that promotes wellbeing in the city. The client, Cindy Huh, calls the resulting facility a ‘superpilates’ studio.
Following much research on the practice of pilates, Vonsung implemented flexibility and balance as central themes of the interior design. The workout studio can be adapted to accommodate difference classes, embodying flexibility in the multifunctionality of the space itself. Pilates the Balance also strives to care for the health of its guests in a holistic manner: not only in terms of physical activity, but also by facilitating balanced nutrition. There is an organic juice bar on site, in addition to physiotherapy cabins and a retail area.
Completed in August 2017, the new facility reflects the aesthetics of a spa rather than a crowded neighbourhood gym. The minimalist interior provides a respite from the busy work day and offers a relaxing space for people to stay even after their pilates workout. Natural stone lines the walls and floor, with leafy plants adding a living green to the organic palette. The stone is complemented by sandy colours and light wood accents. Pilates is practiced on pinewood floors next to large windows and a wall of mirrors, enveloping guests in natural light.
The atmosphere slowly becomes more intimate as one travels through the space – the reception and waiting area at the front of the building is followed by the juice bar, the changing rooms, and finally the pilates studio. The design balances the open entrance area that welcomes the public against a private and meditative space to care for one’s health. Pilates the Balance is more than an exercise facility; it’s an oasis within the city.