Solihull, England – Retailers most often treat stores as the centre of brand universes. But for rapidly growing UK-based sportswear brand Gymshark, it was equally important that those behind the company be able to engage with its DNA. That’s why it tasked office design company Oktra to complete a fitness centre that doubles as a workspace, with the aim of encouraging employee wellbeing and brand innovation.
Over €5.5 million were invested in the employee-exclusive Gymshark Lifting Club (GSLC), located a short walk from the Oktra-completed Solihull headquarters. GSLC’s finished form is a 5,110-sq-m work studio and gym that combines world-class fitness facilities with a health bar, 100-person auditorium for events and R&D factory. The building also includes multiple high-tech photography studios, which will support the company in the launch of its forthcoming fitness app.
Offering such long list of amenities would not have been possible without the inclusion of a mezzanine floor – the main addition in the former warehouse’s 22-week-long transformation into the club. The supplementary floor area also imparted increased flexibility, a necessity as spaces such as the auditorium sprang up only as the project progressed, and Oktra also wanted to accommodate future expansion.
‘Having developed Gymshark HQ as a facility that enables the business to grow, we then moved on to GSLC, which enables its people to grow,’ explains Sean Espinasse, design director of Oktra North. ‘It offers something different from a typical office environment – it’s a playground for mental and physical development.’