Dubai Design District gains a new warehouse gym inspired by underground fight clubs
Hitting just before new years fitness resolutions become less resolute, Warehouse Gym has opened a new location in Dubai Design District. The three-year-old, purpose-built mecca – known for its dedication to the design community, including startups, entrepreneurs and established international brands – is prime real estate for a visually exciting workout zone.
The interiors architects – VSHD Design, led by Rania Hamed – aimed to appeal to ‘the design savvy community’, and took their queues from brutalism, using locally cured concrete bricks and flooring, resilient to heavy use. The whole space, clad in this atmopsheric grey, will develop an appealing patina over time. Accents of gold-hued copper add a voguish polish, while a 17m long glass window invites visitors in from The Block – the adjacent recreational facility featuring a skate park and basketball court.
Straying from the usual design-world inspiration bank, Hamed and her team looked to underground fight clubs to toughen up the otherwise fairly clean-cut aesthetic. Imposing concrete columns are left exposed, and a giant graffiti mural spans one wall.
The facilities, squeezed into the somewhat awkward 600 sq m space, include a gym floor, juice bar, cycling studio and circuit training factory. The unit was once carved up into three separate retailers, so Hamed and her team had to overcome the disrupted spacial design by completely rethinking it. They created a sense of unity by rotating the design around a central glass box housing the cycling podium, in which (from a distance) cyclists appear to levitate while pedalling. §