When yogi Lucinda Mills decided to open her own studio, she asked her architect husband Robert Mills to design it. In his portfolio, which boasts modern homes and luxury apartments, a calming minimalism emerges as a theme. His spaces are modestly furnished, and feature generous glazing and a modest approach to colour.
In the vibrant South Yarra suburb of Melbourne, the One Hot Yoga studio is nestled between two small parking garages. Mills carved the warm and airy space out of a converted factory, replacing the corrugated metal garage door with a floor-to-ceiling window, and inserting a wood-framed glass door.
The interior is defined by a seamless fusion of raw materials. In the entrance, polished concrete floors blend into the cream-painted exposed brick walls; wide timber benches planted along one of these walls are outfitted with light-coloured seat pads. As the central gathering spot, the front foyer is also furnished with a communal table in wood and white square-shaped stools. A stone fountain perched nearby seems to take on an uttanasana pose.
Down the hall, the change rooms and showers are tucked behind heavy drapes. In the spirit of Mills’ other minimalist projects, these spa-like spaces are modestly furnished with wall-mounted wood benches, and finished with simple black wall hooks.
Light pours into the two classrooms through the original factory windows. The polished concrete floor carries through into one studio, while the other is finished with wood planks. Mills installed a low-energy wall panel heating system (instead of ceiling panels) in each studio to accommodate warm and hot yoga. While one space hosts 60-minute sessions at 37 degrees, the other can be set to 27 degrees.