A yoga studio shows how craft technique and technology can work in tandem
What happens when geometric modelling software meets craftwork? For the design of yoga brand Vikasa’s Bangkok headquarters, studio Enter Projects Asia worked with three-dimensional modelling software Maya, then constructed the space with natural, local materials. The 450-sq-m interiors, which feature bespoke free-form yoga pods, illustrate how new and old techniques can work in tandem.
As the use of building information modelling (BIM) becomes standard among architectural practices worldwide, critics have voiced concern that the software curtails creativity. Whereas predecessor AutoCAD worked by allowing designers to draw lines in free space, BIM users essentially assemble designs from a library of off-the-shelf components found in the construction industry. By instead working with software like Maya and Rhino, designers can incorporate non-standard forms and craft in their construction foreign to BIM. Doing so enabled Enter Projects Asia to create a structure unhindered by market products.
With a material palette of Thai hardwood, rattan, palm leaves and black slate, the flowing interior references the yoga brand’s ideals of health, wellness and evolution. ‘We sought to create a space which mimicked the natural world and reflected the never-ending cycle of life,’ says Enter Projects design director Patrick Keane. ‘The result is a space of captivating calmness, cloaked in quiet contentment – an oasis of tranquillity amongst the chaos of Bangkok.’
Lining the length of the building’s second-storey façade, the pods organically divide the yoga studio into four separate areas. From the entrance stair, a rattan-woven light fixture leads people into the foyer ahead, then merges into a shapely bench. After arriving at the main lobby, guests can proceed to one of four yoga studios. Each of these studios incorporate light as a key feature, by means of floor-to-ceiling glazed windows or sculptural oculi.