Monday 19 January 2015

Design and Budget

Another great project has just been completed for CrossFit Wandsworth, in London SW18.  Its a really cool box where up to 16 members train in set classes to high intensity workouts, using body weight resistance exercises or free-weights.

Although, as Crossfit boxes go its a big space, the intention from the start was to keep the gym area as large as possible.  The large open space created includes a rig and various apparatus which can be quickly set up for any number of workouts or routines.

At work at CrossFit Wandsworth

To achieve this, the following design moves were taken:

Changing areas
The changing, WC and shower core was made as tight as possible, benefiting from the staggered turn-around of classes, and making the best use of every inch of space.  Corridor and circulation areas double up as places to hang coats and bags and coats for those that do not need to fully change.  Cubby-holes in the front of the changing core allow people who do not need to change at all to leave wallets and keys while they exercise.  The changing, WC and shower areas take only 7.5% of the unit's space.

The changing areas were designed to be as small and inconspicuous as possible.  They are stepped in plan to ensure sight-lines to the key gym spaces.

Open plan
Beyond the changing areas there are no other screens or partitions to divide the space.  Office, shop, reception and lounge (place to crash) are all open helping to make the space look accessible and engaging.

Briefing for the class

Services were kept very simple.  Ventilation, heating and cooling is provided by an air-conditioning system, exposed and fixed to the underside of the existing concrete soffit.   It was set out to work neatly all on one level and economise on duct runs and component parts required.

The lighting was set out to simply work with the existing fabric of the building.  Lights were fitted in to the open recesses between joists above the reception and entrance areas and to the perimeter of the gym space within the recesses of the curtain wall.  This saved the extent to which services needed to be fixed to the concrete soffit and helped to make the space feel big, high and uncluttered.  It also saved installation costs.

The light fittings were chosen to resemble temporary building site lights, to help give an urban, rough-and-ready feel to the space.

High level spot lights pick out key areas such as the ball-wall and the store.

The aim was to keep the space open and uncluttered, with lots of light

The selected finishes were few and controlled.  Thick black rubber tiles were laid on the existing concrete floor slab.  The changing areas are lined and set out to full size ply sheets.  All exposed block-work and concrete was finished with a clear sealant to prevent dust ingress.

Waiting for the class to start (in various positions)

Fit out
The focus of the space is the exercise equipment and the size of the gym floor which allows the flexibility to quickly set up a huge range of workouts and routines.

Head Trainer, Alex at CrossFit Wandsworth

In total, the fit-out costs came in at approximately £100K, including fixtures, fittings and equipment.  The total letable area of the property is 350m2.  This gives an impressive installation rate of £285/m2, a very important consideration for any start-up company looking to secure its future in a competitive business market.

Photographs by Corin Ashleigh Brown

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