Project: ZUM Fitness
Project Description: 6,500 sq. ft New Construction
Interior Design: Rocky Rochon
Photography: Ben Benschnieder
Project Criteria: Provide facility for free weights, resistance equipment, cardiovascular equipment, spin bikes, yoga, exercise classes, physical therapy, reception area with lounge seating and check in desk, client conference rooms, offices, employee break room, restrooms, lockers, showers and steam rooms. The client had a innovative approach to training utilizing many historical and current methods including, weights, ropes, sand pit resistance work, body balancing and stretching movements. He wanted the built environment to reflect his philosophy of integrating the historical with the modern. Since his training work is usually one on one, it was important that the trainers had visual contact with clients as they worked out.
Design Concept: Juxtaposition of historical/modern, masculinity/femininity, incorporating balance, flexibility, movement, efficiency and above all, innovation.
Design Solution: The demand for efficiency was very challenging due to the amount of programmatic requirements relative to the actual square footage of the space. This was accomplished by adding a second level mezzanine and placing the more private/quiet spaces at that floor. The new architectural addition was handled in a very spare, modern, efficient aesthetic, while the existing historical structure, built at the turn of the century as a warehouse space, was keeping it’s original condition, including the original metallic silver trusses and ceilings throughout. A very formal axial symmetry was imposed from the entry into the epicenter of the general workout area, where a drinking fountain and gathering room terminates the axis. This is symbolically very important, since hydration is an dynamic requirement to exercise and should be the shortest travelled distance for everyone using the facility. In designing all the areas of the facility, it was always important to look at solutions that were not only efficient, but also innovative. This is perhaps most obvious in the design of the locker rooms, where instead of an open room with showers and lockers flanking the perimeter space, the showers, toilets and vanities were corralled into a single translucent structure and floated in the center of the room. The negative, leftover space at the inbound side of the room became the private locker/dressing area, while the outbound/entry side of the space became the area for grooming and access to toilets. The space also incorporates masculine and feminine aspects by bringing in gilded mirrors and crystal chandeliers to contrast against the raw brick and steel in the spaces. Also, the use of gilded metallic paints against sand finish paint, light colors against dark, all further reiterated this concept.