Brewin Design Office is a Singapore-based multidisciplinary design studio whose projects are characterised by rich tactility, refined taste and fastidious attention to bespoke craftsmanship. Established in 2013, it is helmed by Robert Cheng, whose mastery in creating atmospheres of quiet sophistication is befitting of his latest project – a 200-square-metre wellness and educational centre.
There is none of the banality of traditional mirror-walled studio spaces here. The Yoga School exudes the intimacy and warmth of an abode – not surprising, considering the client’s request for an inviting, home-like atmosphere conducive for informal discussions and social engagement.
“As a result of these design considerations, a living space inspired to look like a residential living room, complete with a pantry, was placed at the centre of the yoga school as an anchoring point of the overall experience,” says Cheng. This, as well as the entry foyer and waiting area, is clothed in cosy American walnut veneer and furnished by iconic pieces such as an Angelo Mangiarotti marble console, a Hans Wegner Wishbone chair and Fritz Hansen Ro armchairs in sensuous blush pink.
A custom, cloud-grey Omar Khan rug provides softness both physically and visually against the chocolate walls, and overhead, an arched, stucco-clad ceiling acts as a “celebratory, almost religious” gesture of the yoga experience. Well-concealed, ambient lighting illuminates the common spaces, while in the changing room, Michael Anastassiades’ golden, bulbous light fixtures provide a touch of luxe, as do the white oak veneer cladding and unfilled travertine countertops.
Flexibility of space for concurrent programs also had to be catered for. Cheng’s answer is a raised platform adjacent to the living space, curtained by two sets of large, operable sliding screen doors. “When closed, the platform serves as a meditation and breakout room and when opened, the platform becomes an extension of the ‘living room’, merging the idea of training, teaching and practice,” explains Cheng.
Throughout, a soothing overall rhythm is created by the tonal selection and brevity of spatial expressions. Meditation and inspiration, education and relaxation, yin and yang – The Yoga School’s design is a study in the peaceful harmony of dualities, where lighter accents counterbalance the darker elements. Visitors entering the sheltering cocoon will be drawn towards the white-walled yoga studios and the vista of sky and clouds beyond – a spatial journey symbolic of the state of enlightenment towards which activities here aspire.