Up on the blog this week I wanted to address and area of interior design that really lights me up! Fitness Center Interior Design! I've been an "athlete" all my life. My sister Marie and I were in Pop Warner Cheerleading in elementary school where I rocked the straddle split. We were also in gymnastics and baton twirling, and ballet. I fell in love with running in the fifth grade at the annual "Field Day" where each fifth grade class competed against each other. I remember the exhilarating feeling of winning the 50 yard dash very vividly. I progressed to Cross Country running and Track and Field in the seventh grade and throughout my high school years. During my senior year, I got promoted to running the 400 yd. hurdles. The most agonizing event if you ask me! It takes a lot of effort for a girl that's 5'-2" to get over those hurdles while sprinting! Not to mention, you have to run around the track twice so you have to pass the spectators in the stands.
My love of fitness continued into my University years where I joined the dance team and the karate team. I still kept up the running and found myself getting into weight training and other cardio vascular workouts. Years later, I took up cardio kickboxing and mat Pilates. I was in that fitness center so much that I was approached by the owner to become an instructor! I taught both sessions for a number of years prior to moving to Philadelphia. Now my workout regimen is very varied. I have been attending semi-private personal training sessions for 9 years that involve high intensity cardio vascular training, weight training and yoga/stretch. I throw in SoulCycle, various Mat Pilates sessions, Megaformer sessions, yoga and outdoor running.
So, needless to say, I'm familiar with all types of fitness spaces, whether it's big box fitness centers or boutique fitness spaces. I've designed many Multi-Family amenity fitness spaces as well as stand alone fitness spaces. What I can tell you whether you are designing a large fitness center or even a home gym is that it takes a unique balance of art meets science. It’s not just about the workout, really. Fitness spaces around the Philadelphia, the Main Line and the Tri-State area are stepping up their aesthetics. To get the right balance, it all boils down to the "programming", which is an industry term for how the space needs to function. What types of activities will take place and who is the end user?
Photo Cred: Joseph M. Kitchen
Here are some of my key design goals and considerations for Fitness Centers:
Support the Active Environment
First and foremost, create an interior design environment that supports the energy and activity inherent in the facility:
High ceilings and ample circulation space encourage activity.
Interior design and color selection provide a sense of activity but should not overwhelm the eye or clash with other materials.
Vary the interior volumes to avoid a "big box" feeling.
Provide as much natural light as possible while considering glare for patrons.
Use key activities as design focal points and to enhance interest. This could be the strategic location of a climbing wall visible from the lobby or glass walls at racquetball courts and classes.
Delia Designs | JKRP Architects
Flexibility is critical in Fitness Center design as equipment technology is constantly changing and sports and classes move in and out of fashion. Consider a raised flooring system in the fitness spaces to accommodate equipment with data connections for fitness tracking and to facilitate changing and rearranging equipment. Provide ample storage for fitness supplies and equipment to meet changing needs.
For group exercise rooms, consider designing one large room rather than multiple smaller rooms. This will allow the room size to change as classes wax and wane in popularity. This added flexibility, however, needs to be weighed against the cost and/or acoustical impacts of using movable partitions versus fixed wall construction.
Delia Designs | JKRP Architects
When it comes to fitness center flooring, I am in love with using Chilewich plank tiles. What I love about this as a flooring option is that all chilewich flooring is Green Label certified, which is recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council. Most importantly, it contains Microban to inhibit the growth of stain and odor causing bacteria, mold and mildew, very important considerations in a sweaty environment. Chilewich is available in the Philadelphia area through Donia Designs. Visit their site to see all of their floor covering options! http://www.doniadesigns.com/
Photo Cred: Chilewich
Your body can stand almost anything. It’s your mind that you have to convince. Developing a habit can be hard. While the logical side of your mind knows you should stick to a workout regimen to see results, the emotional side convinces you that skipping one more day won’t hurt anything. Well, I’m here to tell you that you should definitely roll out of bed and get to that workout. It might not seem like it now, but once you get started, you’ll notice that you’re more energized, your mind is clearer, and you’re feeling sunnier thanks to the burst of endorphins. Not to mention, having an outlet for all that built-up stress will help lower cortisol levels and reduce belly fat – a win-win.
I hope you found this blog post helpful. Sometimes I don't even know if anyone is reading this. So, drop me a note below if you enjoyed it!
In addition to designing for fitness centers, we also design boutique hotels, office spaces, multi family development projects, other commercial spaces such as retail spaces, and the senior living community throughout the tri state area. We work here in Philadelphia, the main line, and even Nationally! If you enjoyed reading this piece please leave a comment and let us know. AND, let's get social. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and connect on LinkedIn!
About our Founder
Tina Delia, a native of Ocean County, NJ, current resident of Philadelphia, is the Founder and Principal Interior Designer of Delia Designs. For the past nine years, Tina has been steadfast in her vision and continues to develop herself personally and professionally. She is dedicated to excellence and insistence on forward thinking design.
At the forefront of her designs is the idea that our spaces have the ability to transform our lives. She is looking to move us, inspire us to see, think and create freely. After all, it's not only about creating beautiful spaces, it's about touching the lives of the people who live, work and walk through those spaces.
About the Intern
Eleni Palamidis, a native to Philadelphia, is currently a student at Community College of Philadelphia and will be transferring to Moore College of Art and Design in the Fall. She has always had a passion for interior design and creative ventures. While at Moore she will be pursuing a major in Interior Design with a minor in Graphic Design and Business.
Growing up in the Greek community has shaped Eleni to be the person she is today. She has been fortunate enough to have visited many of the islands in Greece, to which she credits her love for Architecture. Eleni hopes to one day open her own Interior Design studio and continue to do what she loves.