Pilates Studio


Our client desired to create an atmosphere in which the teaching and practice of the Pilates could be enjoyed. Pilates exercises require the use of numerous machines, along with space for free floor exercises incorporating balls and mats. Many of the items of equipment can be used individually or by practitioners as part of a group exercise program.  The space defined for the use of the pieces of equipment needs  to allow for the movement of both the student practitioner ,  and the trainer.  The architecture for the space needs to both enhance the experience and accommodate it.

 Design Approach:

 As built drawings for the existing building were examined.  Field measurements were taken to verify the actual the space available for the studio.  Conversations were held with the local building department in Carlsbad to determine the occupancy classification for the space.  Since several of the spaces within the studio and accommodate relatively large groups of people in an exercise program , the precise occupancy classification of the space became critical.  Once this issue was resolved, the design proceeded to the development of detailed working drawings and competitive bidding for construction.

Design Objective:

 Visual impact with minimal budgetary impact was a major design objective.  The space available for the studio was in the interior area on the second floor of an upscale shopping center located in the La Costa area of Carlsbad, The Forum Shops. The use of natural materials, and as much natural lighting as possible in the space , were corollary objectives of the design team.  Minimal use of walls and other visually obstructive features was desirable.  Movement to the space was to be as unhindered as possible, while at the same time defining the areas where various specific items of pilates specific floor exercise equipment could be located.

 Design Challenge:

 The space available for the studio was long and narrow and provided minimal natural light at either end of the space.  Because the space had entrances on either in, it became important define which the end of the space was to be used as the main entrance and which was the emergency exit.  It was also desired to make this happen without making either of the entrances appear to be not an entrance. It was desired to have a ceiling as high as possible to avoid a feeling of claustrophobia.  The ceiling needed to provide a means of supplying natural light to the interior of the space in precise locations.  Solatubes, highly reflective skyline assemblies, were used to achieve this result, bringing bright natural daylight to the interior of the space.  A lowered curved ceiling area was used to channel vision from the front to the back of the studio and to detract visual attention from the mechanical equipment located above the curved ceiling line.