Project Name: DavidBartonGym, Astor Place, NY
Client: David Barton
Project Type: Gym
Principal Designers: Studio Sofield
Location of site: 4 Astor Place, New York
Features: 12,000 m² floor area, 5,000 m² of strength training, boxing room, pilates studio, weights room, yoga area, large training floor, 4 large group-training rooms for spinning, group exercise, a dedicated cardio area with almost 100 pieces of equipment, a locker room with steam rooms, and a daycare service.
The DavidBartonGym franchise consists of 9 gyms across the US. They embody a conceptual idea of making the gym an experience, not just a routine. They blur the line between a nightclub and a gym, giving rise to a new type of gym experience, the experience of the spectacle. Just as gyms were originally about the spectacle of the floor shows in the Hippolyte Triat Gym, these too are revolved around the spectacle of the gym experience.
Gyms are by nature sexual places, they are places that promote vanity and a focus on the body. The DavidBartonGyms recognise this fact and exploit it to its fullest. The fact that the gym looks like a nightclub shouldnt be surprising, in reality the differences between the two typologies are minimal; both involve sweaty bodies, loud music, a focus on body aesthetics and self image, and both are social meeting places. They are also both very introverted places, with the focus being internalised and directed towards the interiors.
…When you step out of the 9 to 5 world and into ours, I want you energized. I want your imagination dwarfed. I want you to feel like your whole life just got better. I want you surrounded by extravagance because our world serves as a monument to how successful we have been at changing bodies. Tangible reminders that anything is possible, the only limit is ones own imagination and energy.
– David Barton
The gyms take there aesthetic cues from their surrounding context. The above New York gym having a very different feel to the Miami gym (below).