The Softer Side of Serious Fitness
Gold's Gym has long been thought of as a serious workout facility where muscle-bound men make up most of the membership. But thanks to a new Gold's Gym in Redmond, Wash., that image has undergone a radical transformation. This welcoming new facility maintains its core hard-core exercisers, but also targets families and women.
"It's very unique when you take a Gold's Gym and put it in a family environment," said Kurt Grosvenor, one of the owners and general manager of the gym. "We're about three miles from Microsoft, so we kind of understood our client base," he explained.
"We were trying to blend Gold's name with the market here—that was probably the biggest challenge, softening the gym," Grosvenor added.
To accomplish this, the design, programming, services and amenities had to take the expanded audience into account. Typical to other Gold's Gyms, there are group exercise rooms, a lap pool, free weights, circuit weight-training machines and more than 140 cardiovascular machines. But it's the extraordinary elements that really make this place stand out. Like, for instance, the cardio cinema room, where members can watch a movie on a big screen while working out. Plus, many of the other cardio machines have DVD players, so members can bring their own movies to move to.
There's also a mind-body studio with adjustable climate and lighting; a semi-private women's workout area; and four bodies of water under one large enclosure: two jetted tubs, a large lap pool and a 92-degree lazy river pool. A south-facing outdoor patio was added for soaking up the rays.
"The sun carries such a high value here that when it's here, you want to take advantage of it," said Jeff Nagel, owner of NAGELSport.
In the locker rooms, raised-panel wooden lockers create an upscale feel. Plus, locker rooms have steam rooms, saunas, a lounge area with flat-screen TV and lounge chairs that are fitted out with luxurious, soft fabric that doesn't absorb body oils and is easy to clean. For women, there is also a private cosmetic area and private changing areas.
Another challenge was the existing building structure, a former bakery and distribution site. With an overall size of 52,000 square feet, the main building is long and tall.
"We had to somehow create an exciting,
warm environment that would work within that building," Nagel said.
What evolved was a truly unique layout. Upon entering the facility, to the left is a relaxing lounge area with a fireplace. To the right, a juice bar overlooks the fitness floor and into the aquatics area.
For a consistent, soothing and natural aspect, the design team took advantage of an existing wood ceiling and slightly tinted it. And the biggest design piece, the mezzanine, is "a big, soft swooping curved fašade that follows the profile of the gym and adds a nice structural element," Nagel explained. "It's dynamic and simple to do and tied everything together."
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