Core Kensington is a boutique Reformer Pilates studio with a unique clientele for whom they wanted to offer not only classes, but also an experience.
The main aim for their new premises in Kensington High Street was to create a high quality, inspiring calm and bright space that would allow the customers to focus, Pilates is a mind-body exercise that requires deep concentration.
The challenge was to fit a relatively large brief into a small unit, which required a very focused approach to material selection and space planning. The main materials were reduced to two: terrazzo and timber.
We used terrazzo to resolve the floor, kitchenette and toilet. Wood then became a natural choice to balance out the ‘cold’ touch of the selected terrazzo.
Through the playful use of timber we managed to fulfil all the remaining elements of the programme. It was very important for us to work with wood in a very architectural and controlled manner, so that its interaction with terrazzo was a carefully planned choreography rather than a bland juxtaposition. Contrology is part of the Pilates discipline, which we wanted to translate into the way we worked with the materials for this project.
Collaborative exploration with the joiner as to the possibilities of wood, its movement and characteristics, together with his high skilled craftsmanship made it possible to use solid timber pieces for the majority of the elements, using timber in a very architectural yet traditional way, with minimum tolerances. This allowed us to create handmade pieces of such precision that they became very graphic, directing the attention to the natural grain.
Use of waterfall joins in the reception area and benches forces the eye to follow the surfaces as they turn, creating continuity, which makes the spaces interact.
Not only for joinery pieces, timber is used also as an interpretation of traditional decorative terracotta screening blockwork in the central partition, which is the main feature of the studio, and where both materials get together. This screen separates the exercise area from the other rooms, generating the right level of privacy for the classes whilst allowing for light and controlled views to travel through it.
From the onset we carefully listened to Core Kensington’s business requirements and characteristics, understanding their needs and proposing improvements and ideas that were not limited only to the architectural and interior design.
We have worked closely with Core Kensington to estrategically define and establish their brand identity, focusing on the need for high quality and uniqueness. We have also designed their new logo and stationery.