The exhibitionist gym rat is a common subspecies of the fitness freak: he likes to think of a workout space as one big, sweaty stage and his fellow exercisers as competitors in a muscle pageant. But the stripped-down, utilitarian interior designs of many gyms, filled with fluorescent lights and dingy tiling, don’t play into his delusions of Olympian grandeur.
Studio C102’s design for the 8,000-square-foot 1Rebel, a new luxury boutique brand of gyms in London, caters to such fitness divas. It’s inspired by contemporary art, chic retail design, and old-school movie theaters. The studio’s brief was to design a gym where each class felt like a night out–“an event in its own right rather than a means to an end,” Kyriakos Katsaros, Founder of Studio C102, says in a statement.
Theater inspirations can be found everywhere from the bike studios to the changing rooms. Marquee-style glowing stencil signs illuminate the entrances to the two studios, called “Ride” and “Reshape.” The studios themselves mimic the design of blackbox theaters, with walls of black timber fiber acoustic insulation panels and floors of recycled black rubber. A podium sits at the front of the rows of stationary bicycles, where the workout instructor presides over her audience, projections glowing on the wall behind her. Sometimes, a live band joins in at the podium. And in the changing rooms, 1950s barbers’ chairs sit in front of Hollywood-style vanity mirrors. Emphasis on vanity.