Breathe and relax...
Tuesday 05 Mar 2013


Architecture can change your life experience and emotion. One Hot Yoga is no different. The inspiration for One Hot Yoga was to create an escape, to provide an holistic retreat for Melbourne Yogis to practice. The typical Melbourne hot yoga experience is one of sticky carpet and musty heating ducts. Robert Mills set out to create an experience that was clean, fresh, cleansing, uplifting and healthy. An environment that is synonymous with the aspirations of yoga practice.

The monochromatic palate of painted recycled material is arranged in a logical and peaceful way to house the functional requirements of a yoga studio. Soft textured fabric and highlights of recycled polished copper against the hard brick and concrete surfaces make the studio a place that people want to spend time and reflect in.

One Hot Yoga is a small project in both physical size and budget. The size constraints were set out by the rented factorys' four boundary walls and roof, none of which could be extended, making a total floor space of 335m2. Being a specialised studio for public use there was also a strict brief of necessary components to be included in the space.

An architect on the project had the creative and architectural skills to enable a heating ventilation system to allow full volume fresh air every hour, the only studio in Australia to have this technology.

It was important to us to offer a welcoming ‘Living room' space for the yogi community to meet and gather before and after class and occasionally for seminars and workshops. The ‘living room' is filled with natural light recycled timber, plush rugs and a grand meeting table and offers plenty of soft space to lounge and recharge. There is a water fountain to encourage people to drink Melbourne water and not buy plastic disposable bottles. The practice room upstairs is paired right back to the existing factory structure with just mirrors on one wall to minimize distraction and allow full focus on the yoga practice. The change rooms are dressed with timber, linen, wicker, fresh towels and organic soaps offer an indulgent ‘spa' experience for the user to refresh at the end of practice.

The connections to context are strong. In a physical sense, the old factory's roller door was removed and replaced with a large window, offering passers by an invitation to see the artwork and energetic spirit within. It also offers respite from a streetscape that is largely a repetition of garage doors and car parks. In an area that is densely filled with small apartments, the studio has become another extension to the local amenity.

In a community sense the addition of One Hot Yoga in River Street offers not only a place for health and wellbeing, but a meeting space for the yoga community.

This dark dank industrial building has been transformed into an inner city oasis, ultimately the design has achieved a truly tranquil space where people can experience the wisdom and bliss of yoga. 

Robert Mills Architect Pty Ltd