At first glance, Warehouse Gym does not look like the kind of place you would go to sweat it out. The striking interiors could just as easily lend themselves to an art gallery or luxury boutique. The fact that Warehouse is located in Dubai’s Design District, home to the regions fast-growing design community, makes a lot of sense.

VSHD Design was challenged with creating a gym that is at once inviting, functional, and creatively inspiring within the context of its surrounds. Inspired by Brutalist architecture and underground fight clubs, the studio was determined to stay away from materials predictably found in health clubs. They combined contemporary mediums such as gold-copper alloy with locally cured concrete bricks to evoke elegance and warmth, with a muscular edge.

The main task was fitting a gym floor, juice bar, cycling studio, and circuit training factory in a limited space of 600 square meters split across an irregular plan of three separate retail areas. The solution: inserting a semi-transparent cube in the centre of the space to host the various functions. The cube can be combined with the gym floor to provide a larger studio, accommodating for more people on any given day.

The ceiling could be a dramatic installation all of its own, however, it’s function is also practical. The suspended LED bulbs were specifically customised to conceal all ceiling services and can be controlled to suit the mood of each separate exercise area.

Warehouse Gym overlooks two main streets at the threshold of the district, and capitalising on this was essential in attracting the attention of design-savvy patrons. The reception doubles as a juice bar, featuring a 17-meter-long glass façade facing the main street. The café is open to non-members too, fostering the local creative community by providing a place to grab a smoothie or salad while experiencing the ambience of the gym.


See other wellness projects on Yellowtrace here.


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[Images courtesy of VSHD Design. Photography by Nik and Tam.]


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