To watch a video of the practice studio created by one of the visiting instructors click here.
Intentions: This was the first building built on the project and the last one we worked on during the project. It was originally designed by the client and a local architect, partly to have the yoga studio and residence below in place, partly to gain first hand experience what it would be like to build in another country before embarking on the rest of the project. The client made the first floor ceilings extra high to maximize views from the yoga studio and envisioned that studio as being open air. But the persistent desert winds had other plans.
Functional Results: We reinforced the palapa roof, which had been under-engineered, and enclosed the walls, designing operable windows reflecting the new proportioning system in the rest of the buildings on site. Bamboo floors covered the original concrete floors.
Aesthetic Results: Though the rest of the building was structurally sound, with the first and second story columns not lining up and the concrete columns below looking somewhat thin compared to their height, the building looked unsound. Furthermore, the concrete columns were undistinguished, melting into the upper facade, creating a sense of disorder. We elected to widen each column in each dimension, added another layer of bricks to give them more presence. The new bamboo floors, walls, and generous windows made the space far more conducive for teaching and practice.