Dubrovska Studio uses "leftovers" in Kyiv to furnish local dance studio

Local architecture practice Dubrovska Studio has created a fitness studio lined with curtains and outfitted with custom furniture made from materials sourced from sources around Kyiv in the face of wartime shortages.

Located in Kyiv, Stan will host barre and yoga classes for up to 15 people in its main space and includes a reception area and locker area across 1,290 square feet (120 square metres).

Dubrovska Studio has created a barre and yoga studio in Kyiv

In our situation, when we initiated the project, there was virtually nothing available. We literally pieced the project together from leftovers we found around Kyiv,”  said Dubrovska Studio founder Natalie Dubrovska. 

Visitors first walk into a curtain-lined reception and welcome area, which contains a custom, semi-circle sofa, reception desk and “little tables” made of stone.

White curtain with boulders
The studio is lined with curtains to soften the space

The curtains lining the space follow a curved track at the corners in order to soften the space and “smooth” out the interior.

Many furniture pieces were custom-made from locally sourced or reused materials, which the studio says was a “primary concept” for the studio’s design – in part due to difficulties faced when ordering abroad during the ongoing Ukraine war.

Stone reception desk
Furniture was made from locally sourced or reused materials

The tables were crafted from scraps found at a warehouse, while the sofa was upholstered in a neutral, multicoloured fabric from the 1970s.

“The quest for the right fabric turned into a humorous journey, with many Gobelins featuring unappealing cat face illusions,” said Dubrovska. “Almost giving up, we lucked out, discovering a fabric from the 1970s that closely mirrored our initial design.”

White curtain curving around corner
The curtains follow a curved track

A reception desk sits to one corner, and was made from cast concrete. Rough edges line the top to contrast with the softness of the surrounding curtains, while its smooth base runs into the concrete floor.

A standing mirror sits across from the desk, mounted into a stone to create “magic and special charm” and next to it, a sink and countertop are concealed behind a curtain.

Ballet barre in front of mirror with white curtain
White drapes and mirrors line the studio

The same white drapes cover large windows along the studio, which sits in front of the welcome area. Ballet barres and mirrors also line the space.

A locker and changing room sits to the other side of the welcome area, with wooden storage created by Dubrovska Studio “in the absence of a minimalistic and soft solution” in contrast to standard metal lockers. 

A bench made of the same light-coloured wood sits in the centre of the space, while a line of showers was clad in small white mosaic tiles as a nod to public restrooms.

According to the studio, there were frequent electricity black outs during construction, but despite the challenges, Stan is a “sanctuary”.

Wooden lockers
Wooden lockers were created as a “soft solution” for storage

“Stan encapsulates the spirit of feminine strength, elegance, and individuality, inviting to embark on a transformative journey within its carefully curated space,” said the studio. “It is not just a studio; it is a sanctuary for self-expression and holistic well-being.”

Stan studio was founded by professional dancer Mariia Dreihaupt. The word “stan” is the Latin translation of the Ukrainian word “ctah”, meaning “physical posture”. 

White bathroom
Small, white mosaic tiles line a shower area as a nod to public restrooms

Dubrovska Studio is based in Kyiv and was founded in 2018 by designer Natalie Dubrovska. It focuses on bringing “calmness, harmony and self-connection” to projects. 

Another project recently completed in Ukraine includes a holiday cabin in the Carpathian mountains. Recently architecture and design studios shared how they are coping at the two-year mark of Russia’s invasion.

The photography is by Yevhenii Avramenko.

Project credits:

Team:  Natalie Dubrovska, Katerina Bandura, Daria Shmyrko

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