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Working Out in Luxury: The Commercial Architecture Behind a High-End Fitness Club

The fitness business is highly competitive. While the success of a gym is based upon many factors, one thing stands out— the commercial architecture of a clean, plush, and elegant facility will inevitably attract new members. More importantly, inspirational workout rooms, fresh-feeling locker and bath facilities, and comfortable socializing areas are what keep members signing up year after year. If a club is not up to date, customers will move on to a club that is. Hiring a good commercial architect can boost the business with their understanding of commercial trends, zoning and health regulations. and so much more.

In the lobby of Push Fitness, a sleek black staircase matches the frames of the refrigerators and adds a bit of mystery as to what will be found on the second floor.
With this team, it’s all about the details.

Push Fitness, in New Hyde Park, NY, sat a 10,000 square foot facility that desperately needed a facelift. The three owners smartly chose Douglas Cutler Architects and LMI Design, and never looked back. This team out of Wilton, CT, is focused on heavy-use, retail space, such as gyms, restaurants and hotels. Their combined architectural talent and skills were a perfect fit for this high-end fitness club renovation.

Permits, Parking & Purchases. This commercial architecture & design team do it all.

Douglas Cutler and Kevin Covton knew just how to this get the job done. As an Architect, Douglas is licensed to design plans that require structural changes to a building. He also handles all the local permitting and speaks the language of the inspectors and contractors actually participating in the construction. His keen eye for how interior walls and spaces can be rejumbled into smooth, useful areas is invaluable to any project.

Social areas at a club like this one are very important for customer retention. Many people want a place to meet and socialize after a long day at work and a rejuvenating workout. This area has art, built-in digital media station, station, soft contemporary seating, and a lowered ceiling with chandeliered lighting to provide warmth and elegance.

As the chief designer, Kevin handled many of the decisions surrounding art purchases, wall and ceiling materials, colors, and high-end lighting choices. He also knows the value of water features and used one to add incredible hotel-style, elegance to Push Fitness. Kevin thinks this stuff up while Douglas figures out how to make it all pass the approval process. In the case of Push Fitness, Douglas and Kevin suggested ways to perk up the exterior and helped the owners of the club get a variance for parking—but this was just the beginning. Everything flows together seamlessly because these two experts, uniquely trained in different specialties, transfomed the entire space as one.

Muffled Sound & Dramatic Lighting

The workout areas are totally unique to Push Fitness. The space is divided by thick aluminum posts inset with floor to ceiling LED light sculptures — a cooling touch to anyone’s hot and sweaty workout. The posts fit right in with the workout equipment, also in aluminum. Ringing the rooms are 2-foot high, inset lighting panels that bathe the entire space in a cool, aqua glow.

The floors are lined with quark and rubber tiles to keep down any noise. The shower and locker room areas have mortar floors that look beautiful feel good on the bottom of the feet.

There are not many windows so artificial lighting needs to shine both literally and figuratively. The solution was LED throughout all the areas of the gym. Sculpture-like built-in LEDs and hanging, fabric chandeliers take the place of natural light in a beautiful way. And dramatic lighting within a center-piece, water table adds drama and hotel-like elegance to the lobby.

The walls, which are lined with buffed, metal panels, softly reflect the lighting and add to the sparkle. The reception desk with a lowered ceiling has a watery, blue-green sculpture of light above. The adjacent sitting area is reminiscent of ancient Greek architecture while the mirrored portal outside the locker rooms is lined with antiseptic blue LEDs, and speaks volumes about the focus on cleanliness.

Finally, we get to the locker rooms, each with an astounding, floor to ceiling sculpture of blue LED lights that appear to cut right through the ceiling and out into the air above. Even the class rooms, normally an afterthought, are sleek and well lit at Push Fitness.

The goal was to increase membership. Achieved!

Today, this club is transformed from a dowdy, tired space to an elegant and tasteful destination for professionals. Hats off to the owners, architect and designer whose vision, when completed, tripled the membership and brought the facility into the future with great prospects.

Catherine Stone

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