Yoga is an ancient practice that encourages acceptance, peace within and acknowledgement of limitations, so in many ways, it makes sense for this Yoga Garden and Art Gallery to be housed in a building with, seemingly, a lot to overcome. In a press release, the designers said, “The result was not intentionally determined in advance, but was the result of individual decisions.” Yet, the resulting conversion of this post-industrial space into a yoga retreat is both striking and calming.

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Led by RO_AR Szymon Rozwalka Architects, the project aimed to focus on nature while providing abstract interest. The architects wanted to create a space that was authentic, “without the deceitfulness of nostalgia (industrial fake) or false spirituality (exotic cliché).” To achieve this goal, the team selectively decided what would remain from the old building, which revealed layer after layer of history.

Related: A long weekend in nature at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

person doing handstand in large white room with wood beam ceiling

Located at Veveří 8, Brno, Czech Republic, the building offered structure but not enough light or room for gardens, so the team removed portions. In other areas, they embraced the existing elements of old skylights, authentic construction beams and timbering, bricks and damaged wall plaster.

wooden reception center under skylights

“Our aim was to create an expansive space full of light, and simultaneously full of subtle connections between the individual fragments of the interior,” RO_AR Szymon Rozwalka Architects said.

white room with wood beams and art on walls

The result is a flowing space that provides views from the gallery to the entrance and from the indoors to the outdoor gardens. Two atriums were added to enhance the connection to the greenery, designed by landscape architect Mirka Svorová. One of the fundamental values of the Yoga Garden is “sustainable growth and minimizing the impacts of our society on the environment.” To this end, the gardens have minimal water requirements, with a high-tech system that collects and retains rainwater to satisfy watering needs.

plants growing behind glass wall

Copious windows invite natural light into the space, in contrast to the massive support and accent beams. The interior design also features expansive use of wood as a material selection for lockers, counters, cabinets and more.

+ RO_AR Szymon Rozwalka Architects

Images via BoysPlayNice