Gone are the days of uninspiring workout hubs. Now, the gym space itself is being realized as an integral tool for helping motivate high performance. We share interiors in Manchester, Melbourne, Montreal and Dubai that reveal how interiors can be harnessed to better serve the contemporary fitness community.

Photos: Oculis Project


VSHD Design

For Dubai’s Springs Warehouse Gym, the team at interior architecture firm VSHD Design was inspired by the retro feel of old fight clubs. Brutalist design elements, optical illusions and state-of-the-art lighting come together in the health club, the third and largest that VSHD has developed for Warehouse Gym (one of the spaces earned the 2019 Frame Award for Health Club of the Year). Zoning and position was a core focus for this project, which embraces modular elements within the concrete space. Overhead the practice erected a coffered ceiling with artificial light wells that evoke the sense of being underground. ‘The psychology of working out has evolved into greater focus on the space itself, which elevates the importance of lighting,’ says VSHD founder Rania Hamed.

Photos: Keith Collier



After opening two studios in London, fitness brand Blok is extending its reach in the UK with a presence in Manchester. For this location, Blok continued its collaboration with Daytrip and the lighting designers at There’s Light. A former warehouse, the reimagined industrial interior fuses Victorian and contemporary design with an emphasis on materiality and clean lines. The designers implemented an immersive navigation route utilizing level changes, cantilevers, stemming from a central LED art installation by Ben Cullen-Williams. A quarry tile floor, cast structural glass and metallic blue and lilac tones complement the original Victorian features of the brick building.

Photos: Shannon McGrath


Hecker Guthrie

Maddox Fit is a new entrant to Melbourne’s health and wellness community. The club is positioned by its founders as the ‘the future health club for freethinkers and leaders of tomorrow’. Hecker Guthrie carefully considered individual user experiences and transformative ritual of exercise to carve out the spaces and bring them to life. Situated in a century-old building, the gym is a composition of stainless steel, glass and mirrors juxtaposed with reclaimed timber and raw-textured wall surfaces. In the reception area, a large screen projects atmospheric black-and-white imagery, setting a mood which continues throughout with the help of concentrated lighting.

Read more here.

Photos: Alex Lesage


Ivy Studio

A multi-location fitness studio based out of Montreal, Elmnt has unveiled a new post in the Canadian city’s Griffintown neighbourhood designed by Ivy Studio. Adopting the brand’s all-black colour scheme, the 1,500 sq-ft space is divided into the lobby and spin room. Comprising a service counter, locker area and changing room, the lobby is an open, calming interior anchored by a communal water fountain. The spin room, on the other hand is all about evoking energy. LED lights are installed across the ceiling and the walls lined in acrylic mirrors which distort the reflections within the room.