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Body Concept Pilates Studios shortlisted for INDESIGN 2021 award

Body Concept Pilates Studios shortlisted for INDESIGN 2021 award
July 27, 2021

The Shanghai-based Vermilion Zhou Design Group have been shortlisted for an INDESIGN 2021 award within the Health and Fitness category for their interior design of the Body Concept Pilates Studios.

Held in Portugal from 1st-3rd December 2021, INSIDE 2021 will be spotlighting the people, projects and developments that are changing the face of global interiors, with Health and Fitness interior designs among the 11 categories showcased for the award of World Interior of the Year.

Shortlisted within the Health and Fitness category are:

  • Atelier Alter Architects., PLLC, BIT Sports Center, Beijing, China
  • Bates Smart, The Gandel Wing, Melbourne, Australia
  • Matrix Design, SUNAC Chongqing One Sino Park, Chongqing, China
  • Matrix Design, Suzhou Yango Tanyuan Sales Center, Suzhou, China
  • Matsuya Art, Midlight Runway, Nishinomiya City, Japan
  • Pedra Silva Arquitectos, Maida Smiles Dental Clinic, London, United Kingdom
  • Vermilion Zhou, BodyConcept Pilates Studio, Shanghai, China
  • Vermilion Zhou, Green Massage, Shanghai, China

Vermilion Zhou Design Group was founded in 2002 by Ray Chou and Vera Chu with their  creativity in interior design reflecting oriental aesthetics philosophy and contemporary logic.

The interior design of the Body Concept Pilates Studios has facades made of wood in different forms. Wood has many characteristics. Its texture, colour, touch and temperature are reminiscent of nature and gentleness and this is what Vermilion Zhou Design Group aim to express through this fitness space.

There are many laydown postures in Pilates, so lighting design avoids the form of direct illumination to ensure the smoothness of the training process. Due to the particularity of Pilates, the controllability of light needs to be more precise. Fewer windows are left in the training classroom, which is mainly illuminated by indoor light. In order to prevent the studio from appearing dull, grilles are implemented on facades to increase the sense of layer and flow. The visual expression balance both dynamic and static status, which provides a better training environment for each student.

This year’s INSIDE shortlist reveals over 100 of the very best designed Health & Fitness centres, bars, restaurants, hotels, workplaces and homes by some of the world’s foremost design and architecture firms. The designs subvert expectations and blur boundaries, showing the fluidity in today’s interior design trends.

Held alongside World Architecture Festival, INSIDE, supported by Miele, is where the global design community meets to be inspired by the latest in global interior design and architecture.

The global awards program, which will be judged by more than 20 distinguished designers and editors from around the world sees finalists shortlisted across 11 categories present their project in person to international judging panels. One practice will win the ultimate accolade of World Interior of the Year.

Projects in the Public Building category help re-envision the value design can bring to public life, with entries ranging from the bright and bold Memphis Group inspired museum Ya Space by PIG Design, to Russia’s Ivanovo railroad station, refurbished by Faber Group to preserve its unique decorative elements and cultural heritage.

Within the Hotel category, Opus by Zaha Hadid Architects in Dubai goes up against a capsule hotel in a village deep in the forest in Zhejiang province, China, while in the Bars and Restaurants category, Seven Dials Food Hall by Stiff + Trevillion Architects in London goes up against Greek restaurant Ilios in Cancun, by Filipao Nunes Arquitectos.

For those lusting after office interiors following many months working from home, this year’s shortlisted Workplace projects include Goop’s California HQ by Rapt Studio, Arup Sydney Offices by Hassell, a flexible London workspace by Squire & Partners and a readapted industrial building for a multi-disciplinary design practice in NSW, Australia.

This is the first time the event INSIDE has been hosted in the Portuguese capital, following previous editions in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Singapore and Berlin. This year’s awards attracted over 200 entries from over 30 countries, representing a 10% increase in submissions year on year.  

World Architecture Festival program director Paul Finch commented “this year’s entries are the strongest we have ever had, and we look forward to seeing the finalists in Lisbon.”

During the festival, to compete for one of the eleven INSIDE category awards, and the overall winner of the ‘World Interior of the Year’ nominees will present their projects to a ‘Super Jury’ that includes: Nigel Coates, Director, Nigel Coates Studio; Oliver Salway, Founder, Softroom; Vesna Petresin, Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Johnny Chiu, Founder, J.C. Architecture.

The full shortlist for this year's INSIDE projects can be viewed here

For more details on the 2021 Inside Festival of Interiors and the World Architecture Festival please visit and

Images: Body Concept Pilates Studios interior designed by  Shanghai-based Vermilion Zhou Design Group. For more information on Vermilion Zhou Design Group go to

About the author

Karen Sweaney

Co-founder and Editor, Australasian Leisure Management

Artist, geoscientist and specialist writer on the leisure industry, Karen Sweaney is Editor and co-founder of Australasian Leisure Management.

Based in Sydney, Australia, her specific areas of interest include the arts, entertainment, the environment, fitness, tourism and wellness.

She has degrees in Fine Arts from the University of Sydney and Geological Oceanography from UNSW.

Read more from this author

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