Project Name: THE VOYEURISTIC WALL - Y+ YOGA AND WELLNESS CENTER Design Firm: NERI & HU DESIGN AND RESEARCH OFFICE Category: COMMERCE Description: Y+ Yoga and Wellness Center is an extension of the original Y+ Yoga Studio. The total area for this multi-purpose wellness center is approximately 1200 m². The Center, opened in December of 2005, contains three yoga rooms, massage rooms, meditation rooms, social gathering spaces, a small café, and a retail space. NHDRO’s design explores the abstract concept of tranquility by creating intimate spaces that allow for self-reflection as well as communal spaces for human encounters. The contemporary urban life is fast moving and highly intense, where daily pressures in the ever-changing landscape of Shanghai can be emotionally and physically draining. In a city where many are trying to maintain basic human values, NHDRO is creating a refuge for self-reflection and a community for meeting people. The two internal yoga rooms have leaf patterns randomly placed on the walls and ceiling. One room has protruding light fixtures and the other has recessed light fixtures, creating a linear directional experience that emphasizes fluidity. The third yoga room is a slightly elevated half-circular room in an abstracted forest clearing looking through the windows at a lake. The forest is abstracted with vertically hung ropes dyed in different shades of green representing a series of abstracted trees. Additional rooms as part of the design serve to offer a complete oasis. The white room is an entirely white space from the ropes which hang from the ceiling, to the walls, floors, and cushions. The absence of color allows an alternative space for self-reflection. The rooms for encounter are intermediary rooms that are strategically placed between the circulation and the yoga rooms. These spaces are for intentional and accidental encounters. Encounters between people are an essential part of human existence. These include rooms to cool down, rooms for reading, rooms to chat, rooms to settle down and rooms for meeting new people. The bronze gaze holes, placed strategically throughout the space, allow the yoga performer to focus on a hole for various yoga positioning or posturing. From the corridors, the portholes also indulge the voyeuristic nature in all of us to gaze into a world of tranquility. This absorption of the world of tranquility into the “self” is initiated by the gaze-perception-sweeping out into the world.