The project is a yoga studio located in No. 75 Mansion, Changshu, a high-rise office building. Previously we designed phase 1. Then we were given the commission to design phase 2. It is an extension of the yoga studio, which is more natural and flexible yoga teaching space.
Since the yoga studio is located on the upper floors of a office building. People have to go through quite a long and boring way from the city streets, foyer, lobby, elevator hall,and corridors to the main entrance of the yoga studio. While walking along, people would easily feel exhausted and bored both mentally and physically，which is difficult to relieve.However, yoga is a kind of sport that purse the unity of mind and body, which is closely connected to nature and balance.
▼走过玻璃看室内空间，view through the glass ©AR-J
Therefore, we were thinking to make this project a Suzhou garden, built in a gab of the city buildings, based on the theory of creating a big universe in a small space. And it would be a gardening experiment inside a modern high-rise buildings. We try to introduce natural and pleasant elements into the modern boring beam-column space to achieve the transition from dull to cheerful.
introducing natural elements into the modern beam-column space ©AR-J
Phase 2 is a 270-square-meter long space which is connected to phase 1 with several thick columns regularly arranged on the site. According to the basic functions of the yoga studio, we need to arrange two Pilates classrooms, a yoga classroom, a landscape area, a public fitness area and a washing and dressing area in the long and narrow venue. Accordingly, the space left for gardening is very limited. At the same time, the well-arranged structural columns are also not conducive to creating a free and casual space like a garden.
▼走过窗口看折廊空间，looking through the window ©AR-J
Therefore, we were thinking to apply the zigzag corridor element of Suzhou garden in this project. There are plenty of design methods and elements of Suzhou garden. Among them, the zigzag corridor is the best way to reflect the idea of “see a big world through a small one”. The zigzag corridor ‘forces’ visitors to constantly change their perspectives along the route and obtain the complexity of the space by repeatedly viewing the same scenery through the change of angles. Compared with a straight corridor, it can bring more impression and beauty.
Another advantage of using the zigzag corridor is to avoid the structural columns that dominate the spatial order. We put the turning points of the zigzag corridor in the position of the load-bearing columns, which can make people ignore the existence of the structural columns and effectively extend the psychological distance of the people who walk in it. Various functional spaces are arranged on both sides of the zigzag corridor in an asymmetrical manner. Through deliberate guidance of sight and movement, we managed to create a relaxing and pleasant space atmosphere,guiding people to appreciate the corners of the space from various angles.
▼“造园”空间，creating a space like a garden ©AR-J
The zigzag corridor is in half revealed and half hidden
A set of interesting holes in the zigzag corridor, we created the transparency of the space. While walking along the zigzag corridor, people can see the inside space of the zigzag corridor, and sometimes can see through the zigzag corridor towards even for the outside space. It makes people have an endless and intriguing experience wondering in a garden.
▼折廊内的视角，view inside the corridor ©AR-J
Look towards the landscape area from the elevator passage
The landscape area is facing the elevator passage. The frameless glass could show the indoor view to a large extent, creating more transparency. The huge contrast between the indoor landscape area and the boring elevator passage could enlighten the visitors’ mood and bring more freshness.
▼透过窗看电梯通道，view of the elevator passage through the window ©AR-J
Door & window openings are developed from octagonal windows in Suzhou gardens
There are door and window openings which is the variation of traditional Chinese octagonal window on both sides of the zigzag corridor. This form of being separated but not separated, bounded but not bounded, not only creates more layers of space, but also lengthens the depth of the scenery.
the variation of traditional Chinese octagonal window ©AR-J
Different scenery along circulation
We installed different functions along the zigzag corridor in a asymmetrical way. With the guidance of the zigzag corridor and the door openings at different angles, people can appreciate totally different view along the zigzag corridor, which is quite similar to “moving pace and changing scenery” of the garden. It creates a novel experience of traffic space.
▼移步异景，moving pace and changing scenery ©AR-J
People walking in the zigzag corridor seem to be in the world of a painting
The most significant design point of the zigzag corridor is to make people feel like they are walking in the world of a painting. This is a theory of garden design that uses painting to design a garden.
▼行走于画中，walking in the world of a painting ©AR-J
The side of the zigzag corridor is made of DuPont™ Tyvek® by simulating the cozy and translucent feeling of Jiangnan. DuPont paper not only has the mottled beauty of paper, but also has the properties of being tear-proof and corrosion-resistant. It is a material with both quality and beauty. Also, it has a high degree of similarity with the white walls of ancient buildings in the south of Yangtze River. And it is the best choice for the facade material of the zigzag corridor.
▼立面采用杜邦™ Tyvek®，wall made of DuPont™ Tyvek® ©AR-J
After several rounds of experiments, we finally found a solution to the hazy light. First of all, we need to enlarge the weight of wooden structure with a layer of DuPont paper on both sides. And secondly, we apply 4 layers of light strips from the ground to the ceiling evenly. In two conditions with the lights on or off, the zigzag corridor shows a beauty of translucency which could reflect the Zen atmosphere in space.
▼朦胧光感，the hazy light ©AR-J
People’s interactive experience in the landscape area
In traditional Suzhou garden, there are pavilions for visitors to rest. Since there is not enough space, we changed the door opening into the window opening. And we put some futon cushions on the platform of man-made landscape, which allow people can experience the atmosphere of meditation in an office building.
creating the atmosphere of meditation ©AR-J
Artificial vegetation is geometrically processed
Flowers and vegetation always contribute the beauty of Suzhou garden. Due to the limits of site condition, we couldn’t really plant trees and flowers. So we replaced real flowers and plants with artificial vegetation. At the same time, by applying geometric methods, we installed those artificial vegetation, which is more helpful to relieve people’s nervous emotions.
The abstract landscape is transformed from the micro-topography
Meanwhile, we take the advantage of micro-topography to create the scene of stacking mountains and water in a small space with abstract techniques. Matched with the cement flooring, it breaks the monotony and dullness of the original flooring. And we managed to enrich the layers of flooring and texture.
▼抽象山水，abstract landscape ©AR-J
▼二期平面图，plan of the second phase ©夏天设计工作室
联系邮箱 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
项目设计 & 完成年份 2021
主创及设计团队 主创：蒋愚超 设计团队：夏天、王亚婷、张琦
项目地址 江苏 苏州
摄影版权 夏天设计工作室、AR-J STUDIO
客户 Family Yoga
品牌 杜邦™ Tyvek®、水泥自流平
Project name Changshu Yoga Studio
Design Summer Design Studio
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Design year & Completion Year 2021
Leader designer & Team Chief Creator: Allan Jiang Design team:Summer/Yating Wang/Qi Zhang
Project location Suzhou Jiangsu
Gross Built Area 270m²
Photo credits Summer Design Studio / AR-J STUDIO
Copywriter Starry Pan / Allan Jiang
Clients Family Yoga
Brands / Products used in the project DuPont™ Tyvek® / Self-leveling concrete