Transforming an abandoned industrial building from the 1960s to a state-of-the-art gym, provided the opportunity to pay tribute to the building’s heritage and maintain elements from its past. The main building has been restored to encompass all the activities and needs of the gym such as areas for free-weights and weight equipment, an MMA cage and Martial Arts area. At the same time the mezzanine hosts supporting functions and the old annex is reconnected to the main building to provide space for changing rooms and lavatories.
The front façade has been completely reimagined, half escaping the concrete envelope and providing the illusion of a solid corten block when approaching from the west and the other half is dominated by a curtain wall that opens visibility between the public busy street and the gym’s main space.
While the roof has been replaced, the new metal structure follows the original wooden beams and a secondary support system allows the exposed services to suspend mid-air. A tailored lighting plan signposts circulation and activity zones with emphasis placed in the elevated cage area aiming to showcase the protagonists of the fight.
Completing an adaptive reuse project is a challenge on its own. Even more so, when the project requires a speedy construction time of only four months, taking place during a global pandemic with restrictions in factories and construction sites imposed. The excellent communication between the design and construction teams and use of BIM systems to coordinate information has been instrumental in achieving the complex construction of the exposed services in a matter of weeks as well as dealing with an existing structure of the 60s.