Core Kensington Pilates studio bends work-out into therapy in London
Recently opened Core Kensington aims to deliver ‘Intelligent Pilates’ – an increasingly popular system of work-out therapy. Fulfilling its mantra, it stretches into new territories of wellness, combining biomechanics, body rehabilitation and athletic performance enhancement into a bespoke experience – where high design is integral.
David Chipperfield-trained architects Almudena Navarro and René Wolter of Studio Wolter Navarro grasped the opportunity to translate ‘contrology’ (the art of controlled movement at the heart of Pilates) into the Core studio space. The Pilates machines that occupy the practice room artfully control movement, while materials and light convey an aura of calmness, lightness and balance.
Founders Egil Hagen and Carlo Yanez, an expert in high-end hospitality and former professional ballet dancer respectively, bring a blend of Nordic minimalism and Mexican formal expression to Core Kensington. The single, fluid space has no doors, and is bathed in natural light by the uninterrupted glass facades, enhanced by the discreet use of mirrors necessary for the practice.
Natural wood and bespoke terrazzo tiles seem to grow organically within the space, either organising movement or gaze (like the Mexican inspired Douglas-fir Celosia that stands in the middle) or turn into functional design features (like terrazzo sculptural sinks and raised planters that bring nature inside). Studio necessities are concealed behind floor to ceiling wood cabinets in continuous grain that makes the Pilates studio, appropriately, feel taller. The only openings are for the colourful exercise balls, adding a playful note.
Wellness and design have become an inseparable experience – as our 2018 Handmade exhibition explored – and after the quick success of Core Kenginston, Hagen and Yanez are eager to take their ‘Intelligent Pilates’ principles further, and, alongside Studio WN, into a new Core location. §