- Lead Architect:Gonçalo Marrote
- Project Team:Rui Peixoto, João Morais
Text description provided by the architects. We were invited to design and build a Yoga Garden Studio, a space that provides a serene sensory experience of relaxation and well-being.
Located in a backyard of a house in Cascais, near Lisbon, the space was required to have a simple spatial organization and to be smoothly integrated with the garden, to intentionally create a distance from the urban life of the surroundings.
As the yoga classes will take place both at day and night, the orientation and organization of the studio, the materials used and the openings to the exterior were thought in order to provide different ambiences and atmospheres throughout the day and with the change of natural light through time and seasons. The light allows to qualify environmentally the space and creates a peaceful atmosphere, in line with yoga principles. With this in mind the systems were choosen in order to favor natural light, regulate their intensity, and avoid glare as the light does not fall direct on people.
The roof is made with alveolar polycarbonate panels that help to filter the entrance of zenith light, favoring a long and natural awakening and allowing at the same time direct connection to the sun which is essential in many of the yoga exercises. The vertical wall were made in CLT panels. The wall from the studio that faces east and the street has no openings to guarantee the sense of privacy to the yoga classes. The opposite wall is facing west and connects to the garden through windows that were partially covered with slatted pine wood in order to allow ventilation and achieve a diffuse light in the interior. The entrance wall facing north as two large glass revolving doors and two fixed glass windows. With these different approaches the yoga classroom balances between privacy and openness. If practices are carried out at night, artificial light was choosen, in a warm quality and also adjustable.
Since breath control is the basis in yoga practices, allow proper ventilation to the studio was a fundamental. With this in mind the studio was projected to allow across ventilation making sure that there is a certain current renew of oxygen inside, during the session or at the times when the room is not being occupied. For this, we generate a first opening in the facade that receives the prevailing winds, and a second opening on the opposite wall. For several decades, a set of oriental practices and techniques have strongly infiltrated the western world. These disciplines are focused on the human being, as they seek to work and satisfy their physical, psychological and spiritual needs. With this project, we were challenged from the point of functional, environmental, and aesthetic. The operations and decisions taken during design and constructions process where made with the objective of creating a space that enables environment for reflection, meditation, introspection and healing.
We thought about the architecture of this Yoga Garden Studios, as we would think about the architecture of a temple: introverted and quiet spaces, with dim and changing light. We believe in simple ways in order and structure, in repetition, in air and wind, the sun, breathing and the shapes of the body in the space we need to look inward.