Kensington, London

Core Kensington

Material type Bespoke terrazzo
Quantity supplied ~ 110 sq m
Areas used Floors, bespoke planter, wall claddings, washroom & kitchen sink, sink tops, floors, walls
Project completion year 2019
Client Core Kensington
Architect Studio Wolter Navarro
Award Dezeen Awards 2019


Core Kensington is a boutique pilates studio, located in Kensington, London.
Studio Wolter Navarro was hired to design a space for the studio, to offer, not just a service, but also an experience.
The designers came up with an original solution that incorporated our bespoke terrazzo. The project was longlisted for the Dezeen Awards 2019.
The studio floor space was a total of 78 sqm and had areas for various purposes.
For instance, the main studio space has six heavy reformer pilates machines. The reception area and corridors attract heavy traffic, and the floors in changing rooms, toilets and kitchen have to be easy to clean and resistant to chemicals.

The design idea was to blend Mexican and Norwegian styles and to create an open interior with an uninterrupted flow of movement. And it was achieved by marrying two predominant materials: terrazzo and timber.

Bespoke grey terrazzo was used across the entire floor. It also serves as a cladding to cover the lower part of the central partition wall, that’s made out of timber and inspired by Mexican celosia breeze walls.
Terrazzo is a material that’s open to any design interpretations. It is widely used for large-scale commercial and public projects, such as The Post Building or Victoria and Albert Museum.
But, due to its flexibility in composition and finish, combined with other materials, it can be comfortably applied to serve a different aesthetic.
For example, the sink in the studio’s kitchenette and bathroom are made from the same grey terrazzo, which the designers described, lends the space a “certain domestic feel”.

Our favourite element of the design is in the reception area, where one of the grey terrazzo tiles emerges upwards to form a circular tree planter. It acts as a barrier between the reception and the main studio but still allows them to see inside through the branches of the eucalyptus tree.

We would say, this project displays, by far, one of the most creative uses of our material.

The overall looks are kept minimal and calm, inviting one to relax and focus before, during and after the Pilates session.

The project required a very focused approach to material selection and space planning, … it would have been very easy for the space to feel very cluttered with all the necessary Pilates equipment. 

René Wolter Architect, Founder of SWN