On a low floor of Zaha Hadid’s curvy Wangjing Soho complex in Beijing is a freakin’ fancy Muay Thai studio. Designed by BWAO Studio, the high-design martial arts space is defined by Hadid’s architecture—a continuous curve forms three sides of the space, and seven interior columns all lean inward at different angles.
To create a sense of visual continuity in the column-studded room, BWAO’s architects created an interior canopy structure of white arches stretching horizontally from one column across the ceiling to another. Drawing attention to the fighting ring toward the front center of the main room, the linear quality of the 18-millimeter-thick arches echoes the curving lines of the building’s facade.
“The arch shapes are controlled by adjustable conic curves, achieving spatial efficiency while remaining its continuity,” write the architects in Designboom. “The upper part is partitioned along the east-west axis, forming the ceiling components. The lower parts are contoured vertically, forming the pillars that support the ceiling.”
The space is also lit from above, with fixtures placed atop the panel canopy. This serves to diffuse the light above the ceiling, creating an ambient glowing effect.
The foyer, locker rooms, showers, and changing areas are separated from the main room for privacy.