Located in Seattle’s dynamic South Lake Union neighborhood, DRIFT Yoga Studio functions as a space for both communal gathering and quiet meditation. The studio balances this dual vision to foster a holistic, accessible experience of wellness for both clients and the wider public, rooted in the casual, health-conscious lifestyle of the Pacific Northwest.
A public-facing hospitality and retail area at the front of the studio establishes a new hub for neighborhood activity and gathering. Large expanses of glazing engage pedestrian traffic, with operable storefront windows to foster natural ventilation during nice weather. Inside, light materials – including a maple slab countertop and terrazzo tile casework – foster a bright, refreshing environment for DRIFT’s raw juice bar, which offers a selection of healthy beverages and organic vegan treats. A large window offers glimpses into the yoga studio, connecting the two zones. Beside the bar, custom plywood floor boxes and hanging metal racks showcase yoga mats, clothing and other items for sale, underscoring the elevated experience of the studio. A feature wall with DRIFT Yoga Studio signage anchors this space and invites visitors deeper inside.
DRIFT’s central hallway provides intuitive internal circulation, connecting students to the restrooms and changing areas. A darker material palette here further underscores the transition to a more reflective space, culminating in a quiet lounge where clients can store their belongings and decompress before or after classes. An oversized metal door – inset with a second, human-scaled portal – introduces a signature kinetic threshold to the sanctuary of the yoga studio. Considered design decisions within the yoga studio minimize distractions and allow students to focus on their practice. LED strip lighting creates a soft glow around the edges of the room, while a raised instructor’s platform and tiered flooring ensures that everyone has a good view during class. A custom yoga mat storage system elegantly organizes supplies to further support a grounding sense of calm and order. The window overlooking the juice bar can be left open to engage the energy of this external space or closed with a custom sliding door to preserve privacy.
“Retail and small businesses have been vital to the development of South Lake Union as an urban residential district. DRIFT Yoga Studio reflects the focus on sustainability, health and wellness we’ve seen throughout this community, providing a great fitness space and an easy spot for neighbors to gather or grab a healthy snack.” –Kirsten Ring Murray, FAIA, Design Principal