The interior brief was for a fun, innovative and cutting-edge gym (along with working from a functional plan perspective) that invigorates and promotes energy, health, life and movement in an uplifting and innovative space. The existing gym was housed in the existing Millennium Building. The new gym was mostly housed in a new part of the building with around quarter of the floor plan residing in the existing Millennium building.
The design solution focused on:
Quotes of inspiration adhered to painted electric blue and printed graphic walls greet visitors and members as they enter.
Visually unobtrusive security swipe card gates (without turnstiles) were chosen to keep the aesthetic minimal and to provide a more hospitable feeling upon entering.
The reception area features a softly curved slatted timber wall that aesthetically softens the space and provides a welcoming reception area. The reception desk is a large, simple and minimal curved structure, which doesn’t detract from the slatted wall.
The timber slatted wall stands next to four large electric blue screens (Bencore Lightben Kaos extruded polycarbonate and acrylic panels) that provide a masked backdrop but picks up visual ‘glances’ and movement from the gym floor.
The overall colour palette is vibrant and intense, utilising the stimulating ‘electric blue’ of the existing Millennium gym brand and juxtaposing it with complementary gradients of saturated red to pink.
For the dynamic blue, pink and reds to achieve maximum intensity, the walls and ceilings are painted neutral white, which provides a fresh reflective backdrop that ensures the spaces are well illuminated.
The reception area features a futuristic looking fibreglass clad pod which houses three consult rooms and the gym manager’s office. This pod is constructed from a double skin of Glazelite (generally used as a roofing product) and the internal cavity is backlit with LED strip lamps.
The pod, along with the reception desk and back wall is curved to allow free flowing movement around these high circulation areas.
Exposed services enhance the ‘futuristic’ feeling with their metallic reflective surfaces.
The entry to the change rooms (accessed from reception) also features curved walls clad with timber slats to ease movement flow around these high-circulation routes, with the timber slats providing an extremely durable surface for this location. The entry to the change room features oversized male and female pictograms, printed with red and blue versions of ‘electric’ themed graphics.
The female change rooms have a neutral grey/white base contrasted with feature red picked up in red wall tiles, large wall graphics and glass locker doors. Other materials include honed concrete blocks, timber bench seats, polished concrete benches, ceramic tiles – all with a focus on durability. In contrast, the male change rooms have the vibrant electric blue as their feature colour. Both change rooms feature under bench heating, a Canadian Red Cedar clad sauna, tiled toilet and shower room, built in hair dryers and a honed concrete bench. An accessible toilet and shower is entered from the main gym floor for ease of navigation.
Moving through to the gym floor there are colour-graduated graphics (blue to red and pink) printed onto clear films that provide a quasi-screen to the large aerobics studio. This screen provides partial privacy but allows movement to be viewed from the main gym floor. The graphics feature magnified details of gym equipment that create an interesting and appealing view when looking either through the films from the aerobics room to the gym equipment or vice versa. Various stock graphics were considered including photos of bodies in motion and people working out but they lacked the dynamism and vibrancy that was desired. Therefore specific photographic images were shot for the aerobics room glazing and for the change rooms. The photos were black and white and a vibrant colour gradient was overlaid to add colour - the aerobics room provides the vibrant backdrop to half of the gym so it was a very important feature to get right.
The aerobics room also features specialist acoustic ceiling Rippletone in a silver finish to enhance the ‘high-tech’ feel.
Next to the aerobics room is the spin class. This room has black block out blinds and black flooring with dark blue metallic painted walls (representing night) and a large scale photo mural of Auckland city at night provides the focal point to the room. This mural continues the feeling of energy and movement (the lens was zoomed out during the long exposure), creating dynamic and abstract electric light trails.
Pavigym (acoustic, anti-bacterial and waterproof) gym flooring was utilised throughout the gym, and different variations of this specialist flooring have been used depending upon the activity in the space. The bright feature ‘blue’ colour along with grey and white have been incorporated where appropriate through the aerobics room, upper gym floor and various inlay areas throughout the main gym.
The new gym equipment was ordered with red and blue upholstery along with neutral black and greys to tie into the overall colour scheme.
Large expanses of mirrors that were necessary for many gym activities also help the overall perception of space in the gym.
The upper split level section of the gym floor features a small accessible lifting platform (it was previously going to be a large accessible gym ramp but this was removed to achieve the maximum floor space). The view through to the upper split level is through two large high-tech acrylic mesh screens that are enclosed by structural columns. These 400x400 structural columns were made into much larger feature elements clad in honed concrete capping blocks (used as wall tiles in this instance) that house vibrant electric blue light boxes as well as providing functional storage for the accessible platform lift gear and plumbing for the water fountain.
The upper gym floor houses an ‘eagles nest’ personal trainer’s mezzanine that looks down over the gym floor. The theme of curves and colour continues and this sculptural mezzanine cantilevers over the gym floor and is supported by a structural hanger from the roof. A playful fireman’s pole provides a fun and instant way for personal trainers to descend to the gym floor without having to walk down the stairs at the back of the mezzanine.
The upper gym floor incorporates electric blue in the flooring that continues into painted electric blue sections on the walls.
Walls throughout are finished in Resene Zylone Sheen waterborne low sheen tinted to Resene Half Sea Fog complemented by ceilings in Resene Ceiling Paint. These act as a fresh neutral backdrop for feature walls of Resene Elvis and Resene Jalapeno. The spin class room is finished in Resene Enamacryl Metallic tinted to Resene Sputnik. Resene Write on Wall Paint is used in waiting areas as a handy feature enabling quick messages to be written when needed to quickly convey key information.
The reception provides the busy hub to the gym and is positioned in the centre where visual surveillance can be maintained over the entry to the change rooms, consult rooms and two entries to the gym floor. The gym wraps around the central reception hub and moves through to the upper gym floor with personal trainer’s mezzanine.
The upper gym floor was situated in part of the existing Millennium building so had to be staged at a later time than the rest of the gym. This meant that the gym had to open six months before the upper gym floor could be opened resulting in the gym feeling slightly cramped for a while. Space was generally tight for the brief, so efficient planning and the use of many screens and filmed glazing instead of solid walls allowed wide views throughout the gym, which enhanced the feeling of space.
Resene Half Sea Fog