Thursday 02 Jun 2011


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Open for just six months, the Noam Gagnon Wellness Centre was selected by WE Magazine as "the best Pilates studio in Vancouver" and has subsequently been featured in the Wallpaper City Guide for Vancouver.

Stantec provided Architecture, Interior Design, and Lighting Design for this new Pilates studio located on the second level of a 1970s retail building. The challenge for the design team was to transform the interior of this non-descript, low-tech facility with its outmoded systems, into Vancouver's premier Pilates studio.

The entry foyer features a large bouquet and a dramatic backlit image of a slender figure. The second level includes a reception area, two adjacent studios, change and washrooms, a massage room, and private office.

The studio equipment, dramatic in both character and colour, is the centrepiece of the design. Throughout the space, plasterboard panels are suspended to conceal services and simplify the space while maintaining a sense of volume. Fluorescent uplights provide reflected light for the studio and, combined with 4" downlights, mitigate the effect of the upper studio's low ceiling. Mirrors, lighting, and ceiling panels are coupled with each piece of equipment to create a sense of personal space for each student-giving an implied sense of privacy in a relatively open space. Soft, shear curtains along the upper level street front contrast with the harder surfaces within and turn the bland streetscape beyond into an abstraction of light and colour.

To use the daylight from the existing side windows while obscuring the unattractive view of the lane, floor-to-ceiling translucent shades were set within a frame projected off the interior of the wall. A 6-foot, red filtered fluorescent is set within the frame at the floor line. This provides an ever-shifting balance of natural and artificial light, and turns one of the building's more prosaic components, those existing windows, into one of the most distinctive features of the studio - projecting an image reminiscent of a Mark Rothko painting.

Stantec Architecture Ltd.

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