Sports luxe is a huge movement and Studio PP is the latest South Yarra fitness studio keeping pace with its ever-growing clientele. But as founder, former Australian Winter Olympian and influential fitness ingénue Stephanie Prem explains, the focus here is on long-term personal improvement and engagement, rather than superficial, short-term impressions. “I hate it when people feel intimidated to walk into a studio!” cringes Steph. “After all, we’re all there to better ourselves and bodies. What we offer is luxe, but minus the intimidation.”
Offering a complete timetable including reformer Pilates, three different styles of yoga, personal training, barre, boxing and boot camp, Studio PP leaves no stone unturned in the quest for the ultimate wellness experience.
“I am of the belief that if everybody did one part Pilates, one part yoga and one part boot camp per week, their bodies would be a better, stronger and healthier,” explains Steph, who has also invested in an in-house nutritionist to round out the Studio PP experience.
The Studio PP building is one Steph has long admired and ambled past. But the neglected space—close to the Olsen Hotel and Le Louvre—needed lots of love, and confidence, invested in it if it was to become Melbourne’s latest health destination. The most endearing element of the space was the natural light flooding the exposed interior beams through the enormous industrial steel windows, which proved just the ingredient Steph needed to stay inspired throughout the project.
Architect and designer, Sean Chambers came on board with Steph to help achieve the aesthetic goals whilst the grunt of the build can be credited to Steph’s personal connections. “I am lucky that a lot of my athlete friends have retired and gone into a trade and were all willing to be part of this project to help create something different,” she reflects. “My husband has been my handy man onsite throughout the project also!”
Today, there is a lovely balance between urbanity—with the outlook of the Melbourne fitness studio a futuristic face-off with other glass-dense building facades—and intimacy, thanks to the warm interior awash with sunlight and greenery, pared back basics and exposed timber beams.
‘Team PP’ consists of seven fiercely passionate and clinically trained health and fitness experts, explains Steph. “I searched high and low to find my team and they have come from all wellness walks of life. I’d like to think that united we are Melbourne’s newest wellness hotspot.”
Studio PP memberships are available, but casual and introductory offers are also an option, “for those jetting in and out of town, or simply too busy to know when they’re free to exercise!” Steph notes.
So will the luxe space sound the death knell on the mega-gym experience? “I believe there is room in the industry for both but there is definitely a popular sway back towards boutique health and fitness studios now,” muses Steph. “People realise that health is not a one size fits all game and the boutique studios can give you the extra attention you and your body need with the added benefit of a sense of community.”
Studio PP | South Yarra
Image Credits: Nick West for The Urban List