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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Health & Fitness: Working it

Fitness giant Les Mills has launched three new studio spaces at its iconic Auckland City Gym in New Zealand

Published in CLADmag 2019 issue 3
Architects Monk Mackenzie created an interior box to house the new studios
Architects Monk Mackenzie created an interior box to house the new studios
We’ve designed the space so that the atmosphere is intimate

The new spaces were designed by New Zealand architects Monk Mackenzie and interior designer Rufus Knight, working in partnership with design studio Alt Group.

According to Les Mills Jnr, who led the development of the new studios and workouts, a key objective was to partner with New Zealand’s best designers to create spaces that work at both a practical and aesthetic level.

“We’ve put an intimate focus on design to create the most incredible end-to-end experience for members,” Mills Jnr said.

“We want people to get excited about being in these spaces, so we’ve designed them as a sensory experience. They look good, smell good, and are places they feel they belong. We want to be a cultural hub for our members.”

The fresh additions include a “highly tactile” functional studio – which hosts a newly-developed training workout called Ceremony – and a design-led boxing studio created around the needs of a new boxing conditioning workout called Conquer.

The third new space is an immersive indoor cycling studio – which Les Mills says is the largest of its kind in the world – featuring a 100-bike terraced theatre environment. It is accompanied by a wall-to-wall curved screen and a five-projector, cinema-quality audio-visual system that delivers Les Mills’ bike workout, The Trip.

“We’ve designed the space so that the atmosphere is intimate as you walk into the room, the lights are low and the workout is completely your own,” said Les Mills product innovation team member Adam Lazarus.

“You can be a professional boxer, or never have thrown a punch, and you will get a great workout.”

As well as acting as the ‘laboratory’ space for the new training styles, the new workout spaces are the first stage of a long-term project to transform the home of Les Mills in Auckland – which in its long history has been an industrial building, a nightclub and a boxing gym.

Rather than completely renovate the original space, architects Monk Mackenzie have designed an interior box, essentially creating a boutique gym inside a gym.

The new studios are a response to changing demographics and exercise trends, as well as an aesthetic makeover of a tired area of the gym.

The design of the space has been led with the expectations of the Gen Z and Millennial demographics in mind – due to the two generations currently driving much of the global fitness spend.

The box-like structure containing the Immersive Cycle studio is designed like a mini-building, with its own roof and its own acoustics.

“Rather than being about gyms, it was about creating something experiential,” said Monk Mackenzie partners Dean Mackenzie and Hamish Monk.

“We wanted to make the whole experience feel kind of theatrical, in terms of when you walk in, the spaces we’ve created and the sub-spaces. The Immersive Cycle studio is theatre-like; when you are in the functional studio and the boxing studio, the lighting is calibrated to be moody. The spaces feel intimate.

“It’s an inclusive space, not trying to be masculine like many gym spaces. The brief from Les Mills was very clear about that, moving it away from being an intimidating space. The ‘materiality’ plays into that, making it feel less ‘sweaty and grunty’.”

THE LOWDOWN

Project
Les Mills Auckland City: Boxing, functional and immersive cycle boutiques

Location
Auckland, New Zealand

Client
Les Mills 

Architecture
Monk Mackenzie
Dean Mackenzie, Hamish Monk, Mark Craven, Yiqiu Hong

Interior
Knight Associates
Rufus Knight, Nathan Varga

Branding
Alt Group
Rei Konza, Dean Murray

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Former track and field athlete Phillip Mills is the founder and CEO of Les Mills
Former track and field athlete Phillip Mills is the founder and CEO of Les Mills
The architects Dean Mackenzie and Hamish Monk
The architects Dean Mackenzie and Hamish Monk
The three new studios have brought drama to previously tired areas of the Les Mills gym
The three new studios have brought drama to previously tired areas of the Les Mills gym
Interior designers Knight Associates clad the cycle studio in mirrored stainless steel
Interior designers Knight Associates clad the cycle studio in mirrored stainless steel
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/imagesX/331309_147923.jpg
No more grunty sweatboxes... Les Mills' new studio spaces show how gym design is coming of age @LesMills @LesMillsAKL
Les Mills,Les Mills, Auckland City Gym, Knight Associates, Rufus Knight, Nathan Varga, Monk Mackenzie, Dean Mackenzie, Hamish Monk, Mark Craven, Yiqiu Hong
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features

Health & Fitness: Working it

Fitness giant Les Mills has launched three new studio spaces at its iconic Auckland City Gym in New Zealand

Published in CLADmag 2019 issue 3
Architects Monk Mackenzie created an interior box to house the new studios
Architects Monk Mackenzie created an interior box to house the new studios
We’ve designed the space so that the atmosphere is intimate

The new spaces were designed by New Zealand architects Monk Mackenzie and interior designer Rufus Knight, working in partnership with design studio Alt Group.

According to Les Mills Jnr, who led the development of the new studios and workouts, a key objective was to partner with New Zealand’s best designers to create spaces that work at both a practical and aesthetic level.

“We’ve put an intimate focus on design to create the most incredible end-to-end experience for members,” Mills Jnr said.

“We want people to get excited about being in these spaces, so we’ve designed them as a sensory experience. They look good, smell good, and are places they feel they belong. We want to be a cultural hub for our members.”

The fresh additions include a “highly tactile” functional studio – which hosts a newly-developed training workout called Ceremony – and a design-led boxing studio created around the needs of a new boxing conditioning workout called Conquer.

The third new space is an immersive indoor cycling studio – which Les Mills says is the largest of its kind in the world – featuring a 100-bike terraced theatre environment. It is accompanied by a wall-to-wall curved screen and a five-projector, cinema-quality audio-visual system that delivers Les Mills’ bike workout, The Trip.

“We’ve designed the space so that the atmosphere is intimate as you walk into the room, the lights are low and the workout is completely your own,” said Les Mills product innovation team member Adam Lazarus.

“You can be a professional boxer, or never have thrown a punch, and you will get a great workout.”

As well as acting as the ‘laboratory’ space for the new training styles, the new workout spaces are the first stage of a long-term project to transform the home of Les Mills in Auckland – which in its long history has been an industrial building, a nightclub and a boxing gym.

Rather than completely renovate the original space, architects Monk Mackenzie have designed an interior box, essentially creating a boutique gym inside a gym.

The new studios are a response to changing demographics and exercise trends, as well as an aesthetic makeover of a tired area of the gym.

The design of the space has been led with the expectations of the Gen Z and Millennial demographics in mind – due to the two generations currently driving much of the global fitness spend.

The box-like structure containing the Immersive Cycle studio is designed like a mini-building, with its own roof and its own acoustics.

“Rather than being about gyms, it was about creating something experiential,” said Monk Mackenzie partners Dean Mackenzie and Hamish Monk.

“We wanted to make the whole experience feel kind of theatrical, in terms of when you walk in, the spaces we’ve created and the sub-spaces. The Immersive Cycle studio is theatre-like; when you are in the functional studio and the boxing studio, the lighting is calibrated to be moody. The spaces feel intimate.

“It’s an inclusive space, not trying to be masculine like many gym spaces. The brief from Les Mills was very clear about that, moving it away from being an intimidating space. The ‘materiality’ plays into that, making it feel less ‘sweaty and grunty’.”

THE LOWDOWN

Project
Les Mills Auckland City: Boxing, functional and immersive cycle boutiques

Location
Auckland, New Zealand

Client
Les Mills 

Architecture
Monk Mackenzie
Dean Mackenzie, Hamish Monk, Mark Craven, Yiqiu Hong

Interior
Knight Associates
Rufus Knight, Nathan Varga

Branding
Alt Group
Rei Konza, Dean Murray

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Former track and field athlete Phillip Mills is the founder and CEO of Les Mills
Former track and field athlete Phillip Mills is the founder and CEO of Les Mills
The architects Dean Mackenzie and Hamish Monk
The architects Dean Mackenzie and Hamish Monk
The three new studios have brought drama to previously tired areas of the Les Mills gym
The three new studios have brought drama to previously tired areas of the Les Mills gym
Interior designers Knight Associates clad the cycle studio in mirrored stainless steel
Interior designers Knight Associates clad the cycle studio in mirrored stainless steel
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/imagesX/331309_147923.jpg
No more grunty sweatboxes... Les Mills' new studio spaces show how gym design is coming of age @LesMills @LesMillsAKL
Les Mills,Les Mills, Auckland City Gym, Knight Associates, Rufus Knight, Nathan Varga, Monk Mackenzie, Dean Mackenzie, Hamish Monk, Mark Craven, Yiqiu Hong
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The global wellness economy will grow by 9.9 per cent annually and reach US$7trn by ...
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FitnessOnDemand’s divisional vice president Uday Anumalachetty discusses what live fitness really means for clubs and their members today
Opinion: Why we need to reimagine what live fitness really means
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Fives Soccer Centres debuts new ‘personal development’ concepts
Five-a-side soccer operator Fives has unveiled its inaugural Pinnacle Gym and announced the roll-out of its digital football concept, as part of the brand’s drive to bring an ethos of personal development into its centres.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: INTEGRATE INNOVATE INVIGORATE with Power Plate
Moving into a new era of health and wellness, Power Plate has extended their popular Black edition range to enable health clubs and fitness studios to integrate vibration training seamlessly into their facilities.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Company profiles
Company profile: Safe Space Lockers
We provide a full turn-key solution for clients from design and consultation, through to bespoke ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Jordan Fitness
Jordan Fitness are a recognised leader in functional fitness, specialising in premium quality yet value ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Red Light Therapy
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Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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