Gym Design

Body beautiful

With a growing awareness of the link between wellbeing and our surroundings, gym designers are creating spaces that are more inspiring to exercise in. CLADbook looks at the latest examples


Trainyard Gym, Hotel Jen

Beijing, China

A 3,500sqm Shangri-La health club designed to “inject energy into the heart of Beijing’s central business district,” opened in the Chinese capital last June.

The 450-bedroom Hotel Jen Beijing – a Shangri-La property – operates the Trainyard Gym, keeping it open 24/7 in a bid to cement the facility as “the city’s go-to spot for fitness, recreation and nutrition”.

Created by Stickman Design, the club’s look is inspired by street art and the area’s industrial buildings. The gym is split over two floors, and features graffiti artwork and floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views of Beijing and of Rem Koolhaas’ landmark CCTV Tower opposite.

The gym features 11 dedicated work-out zones, a Mixed Martial Arts area with a boxing ring; a 25-metre lap swimming pool with skylight; a sauna, steamroom and whirlpools; a juice bar; and a range of studios including a spinning and a Pilates room.

The design was inspired by street art and by the neighbourhood’s industrial buildings
The design was inspired by street art and by the neighbourhood’s industrial buildings
Marcos Cain, founder of Stickman Design, handled the design of the Trainyard Gym
Marcos Cain, founder of Stickman Design, handled the design of the Trainyard Gym
The Trainyard Gym consists of 3,500sqm of space set across two levels. It is open 24/7
The Trainyard Gym consists of 3,500sqm of space set across two levels. It is open 24/7

E St James’s

London, UK

Luxury health club operator Equinox, part of Related Companies, has converted a historic bank in London’s Mayfair into a gym, spa and member’s lounge.

The ground floor, basement and mezzanine levels of 12 St James’s Street have been transformed by architects Woods Bagot and interior designer Joyce Wang to create “an intimate, science-fuelled environment that awes with beguiling spaces and exceptional details”.

External alterations to the building, renamed E St James’s, have been kept to a minimum, although new louvres have been at basement level. Internally, major structural modifications have been made to the mezzanine to accommodate the club’s cardio zone and treadmills.

Speaking about her design approach, Wang told CLADbook: “The interiors are lined with beautiful and rare marble, which we have retained.

“We inherited this amazing architecture, but at the same time we wanted to create interiors characterised by bold modern forms and materials to give the space a new life.”

The former bank was transformed 
by Woods Bagot
and Joyce Wang
The former bank was transformed by Woods Bagot and Joyce Wang
The original marble cladding was retained, and contemporary features added
The original marble cladding was retained, and contemporary features added
The interiors are clad with beautiful, rare marble, which we have retained, Joyce Wang
The interiors are clad with beautiful, rare marble, which we have retained, Joyce Wang

American Copper Buildings

New York City

The new American Copper Buildings in New York feature some pretty spectacular fitness facilities, including a 23-metre indoor lap pool and a whirlpool hot tub housed in the dramatic 30-metre-long suspended skybridge that links the two towers.

The SHoP Architects-designed buildings also feature a multi-level fitness centre managed by La Palestra with a rock climbing wall facing the Empire State Building, a Turkish-style marble hammam with plunge pool, yoga and dynamic movement studios; and a private spa with treatment rooms.

The rooftop of the East Tower features an infinity-edge swimming pool, a landscaped sky bar, an open-air lounge and dining and grilling areas. A new landscaped park surrounds the property.

Coren Sharples, one of the founding principals of SHoP Architects, told CLADbook that including a wealth of fitness facilities and leisure amenities is the future for private developments.

She argued that the addition of leisure spaces – often publicly accessible – to private residences is “now actually seen as a draw” for developers.

“People come to cities not just to live and work, but also to play, and leisure plays an enormous part in that,” she said. 

the American Copper Buildings
the American Copper Buildings
The glass skybridge that links the towers houses an indoor pool and hot tub, as well as 
a residents’ bar and lounge
The glass skybridge that links the towers houses an indoor pool and hot tub, as well as a residents’ bar and lounge
The glass skybridge that links the towers houses an indoor pool and hot tub, as well as 
a residents’ bar and lounge / Photos: Max Touhey
The glass skybridge that links the towers houses an indoor pool and hot tub, as well as a residents’ bar and lounge Photos: Max Touhey
SHoP principal Coren Sharples, whose practice designed the American Copper Buildings
SHoP principal Coren Sharples, whose practice designed the American Copper Buildings

Core Collective

London, UK

Boutique lifestyle gym operator Core Collective has enlisted the help of Waind Gohil + Potter Architects (WG+P) to “push the boundaries of gym design” with a second gym set to be built in St John’s Wood in London after Westminster City Council gave the project the go-ahead last summer.

The gym will feature contemporary design, a highly flexible layout and adjustable exercise spaces. A cafe and health-focused bar will be added to make it a sociable and inclusive environment.

This is the second property for Core Collective.
The company’s health club in Kensington – also designed by WG+P – opened in 2016. For that project, WG+P transformed the ground floor and basement of an abandoned mansion block using a palette of industrial materials of polished concrete, steel framed glazed screens and exposed services, alongside colour-changing lighting.

A third site is planned for Knightsbridge, although this has not yet won planning permission.

Core Collective’s Kensington gym inside abandoned residences
Core Collective’s Kensington gym inside abandoned residences
Core Collective’s Kensington gym inside abandoned residences
Core Collective’s Kensington gym inside abandoned residences
As with the Kensington site, the new gym will feature contemporary design and flexible exercise spaces / Photos: WG+P
As with the Kensington site, the new gym will feature contemporary design and flexible exercise spaces Photos: WG+P
WG+P director Phil Waind; WG+P designed Core Collective’s Kensington gym inside abandoned residences
WG+P director Phil Waind; WG+P designed Core Collective’s Kensington gym inside abandoned residences

Rise by WeWork

New York, New York

Co-working organisation WeWork has opened its first gym, in New York’s financial district.

Designed in house, with head of interiors Brittney Hart leading the project, the gym is divided into several spaces, each with a different feel.

The Fight and Flight studios offer kickboxing, boxing, mixed martial arts classes, and cardiovascular activities, and have a raw, industrial feel, with exposed stone walls and rubber floors. The Turf area features artificial grass flooring and is designed to make members feel as though they’re exercising outdoors.

A pilates and yoga studio features pale wood panelling and a dark wooden floor, while natural stone and pale colours create a calming atmosphere in the Superspa spa area.

playful gym experience; artificial grass adds interest to the workout space / Rise photos: Kris Tamburello
playful gym experience; artificial grass adds interest to the workout space Rise photos: Kris Tamburello
WeWork’s head of interiors Brittney Hart
created a playful gym experience; artificial grass adds interest to the workout space
WeWork’s head of interiors Brittney Hart created a playful gym experience; artificial grass adds interest to the workout space
The yoga studio
The yoga studio
The industrial-feel Flight studio at Rise
The industrial-feel Flight studio at Rise
company profile
Company profile: Curry Spa Consulting
Curry Spa Consulting has been providing clients in the high-end and luxury hospitality sector with spa design, programming, guidance and oversight since 2011.
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