Reform Athletica’s latest outpost designed by TR Studio evokes a physical and architectural journey inspired breath, movement, and contemplation.
London architecture and interior practice TR Studio have designed the second location for Jumeirah based boutique fitness studio Reform Athletica, known for its combination of its six-signature high intensity and low impact wellness classes alongside its private collection of contemporary art.
Focused on creating an experiential interior concept that immerses members in an environment that promotes wellness, fitness and elegance, the new holistic space combines contemporary art, architectural form, and fitness for a wellness journey like no other. Located within the prestigious ICD Brookfield Place, the most sustainable low energy development in the UAE, the new fitness studio features two large multifunction training rooms, private training rooms, a juice bar, and changing facilities.
As a fitness centre with a single use plastic-free and environmentally conscious ethos, the material choices utilised by TR Studio were aimed to minimise environmental impact, from low V.O.C. finishes to sustainable linens. The ICD Brookfield Place building designed by Foster + Partners is one of the top 20 LEED Platinum energy rated projects in the world. Reform Athletica, thanks to the studio’s eco-conscious low energy interior concept, uses between 30-50% less energy and water than comparable fitness units in other locations across the UAE.
Heavily influenced by the importance of breath and movement which are fundamental to the wellness approach of Reform Athletica, TR Studio have transformed the site’s vast open space by creating a journey through spatial hierarchy. Large format glazing, 6-meter-high ceilings and monumental domes, arches and columns were combined to create moments of compression and release as you pass from area to area.
Pairing the rich, natural material and colour palette and theme of primary form to create a strong architectural design aesthetic for the contemporary and elegant environment, the private art collection on show at Reform Athletica adds a completely unique dimension to the project. Showcasing local and international talent and bringing an inspirational and motivational visual language to the site, the curated work creates an immersive environment that redefines the fitness landscape.
The reception area at Reform Athletica ICD Brookfield Place is a large, rectangular space with walls wrapped in stained oak timber panels that upon arrival create an inviting warmth and a sense of luxury, subtle texture, and elegance and showcases contemporary print by Ed Ruscha. Oak floors feature a concrete border which help delineate one zone to another, reinforcing the sense and theme of movement. A bespoke reception table and Arc Bench by 101CPH welcome members.
Fascinated by curves and how they can change the feeling of the space we inhabit, from the large reception lobby, TR Studio have crafted a ‘journey’ through a long, arched corridor. Drawing inspiration from contemporary art galleries, it features a dark grey microcrete floor and bespoke off-white clay walls which act as a blank canvas for the gallery of contemporary artwork on display from the likes of Picasso, Sean Scully, Bella Freud, and Ben Nicholson. Here TR Studio introduced strategic, surface mounted spotlights and low level wall washes which keep the curved ceiling uninterrupted from lighting to create an atmospheric and calm ambience. Creating a focal point mid-way down the hallway, an arched niche which houses a sculpture by John Behan speaks to the curves in the rest of the space and carries the design language further through the plan.
From the main corridor, The Dome is a convergence of several spaces from which all of the training spaces are reached. Delineating the area, a change in flooring with a bespoke radial timber floor pattern creates a sense of arrival and feeling. The striking nature of the Dome allows the gaze to lift to appreciate the sense of space. A bold contemporary art piece by Eddy Bennett hangs above a bronze metal water station creating a moment for conversation and contemplation.
With windows on only two of the perimeters, TR Studio carefully tailored the space to maximise the natural light available in the two multi-function training rooms. The interplay of light and shadow was key to the design, creating a flexible ambience that can interchange with the class type or the time of day. These spaces emphasise simplicity and symmetry and create a sense of calm and wellness.
In the Reform Method studio neutral clay walls and large structural columns have a scraped clay plaster finish which add texture and depth. Concealed recessed light sources gently wash the columns bringing out the texture in the scraped clay finish. The sculptural element of the ceiling recess becomes a key feature of the interior architecture and creates a uniform lighting effect.
In the second Multi-Room which caters for yoga and TRX workouts, a large canvas by English artist Samuel Bassett adorns the main wall. TR Studio created bespoke equipment storage to maintain a calm space, free from fuss and visual clutter. Natural light from the Atrium allows for the Multi-Room to benefit from a connection to the outdoors, whilst floor to ceiling linen curtains can be drawn to create an intimate sanctuary for meditation.
Changing rooms are relaxed, laid back and practical spaces that make getting ready after a class an enjoyable experience. Elegant honed grey terrazzo vanity units feature dark bronze hardware. A timber framed structure above the vanity unit supports a mirror with integrated accent lighting. Bespoke walnut benches designed by TR Studio offer a resting spot under a gallery wall of framed sketches by U2’s Bono.
In the juice bar, the mood is clean and light with accents such as the dark ceiling and coffee bar with rough black render finish and stainless-steel counter grounding the space. A high traffic area, low Passage Stool seating from Menu was chosen with Muuto and Hay Bowler tables to allow members to tuck in for a respite and enjoy the view from the large window or sit in the purpose made bench and admire the artwork from Patrick Caulfield.
At Reform Athletica ICD Brookfield Place, TR Studio have created an elegant and contemporary fitness concept that combines exercise with experience – promoting wellness through art, design, and fitness – a unique selling point for those that expect more from a workout.
Each detail here was carefully considered by TR Studio, from the journey through the space to the artwork lining the walls, to the soft curves and subtle details of finishes; all culminating in a sense of place, belonging and enjoyment.