As cities keep growing and daily realities quickly shift, people turn to new and ever-changing ways to maintain their well-being. While the promotion of active lifestyles has been the focus of many Planners and Architects (Pedestrian/ bike-friendly cities, parks or fitness/ sports centers) aiming to support Human comfort and health, recent times have shown that these publicly coveted facilities might not always be accessible.
The solution is as clear as day. In fact, if you’re not engaging in it nowadays, you’re probably witnessing those around you working out from home or even offices. Workplaces have been also adapting their interior spaces, having designated areas and equipment available for those eager to take a break from work.
Staying physically active doesn’t require much and can be set up a multitude of creative and resourceful ways. Whether it’s the traditional home gym, to smaller mechanisms and design implementations or just having a cleared area, any pre-planned open space can become a home exercise zone. An average of 30sqf (2.7sqm) is the minimum needed dimension to move comfortably without equipment while a slightly larger 100sqf (9.2sqm) is needed for a machine room.
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We have divided the following examples according to the design and spatial solutions implemented in each case. The Traditional Home Gym - just like a gym, but at home. Installation - a more creative approach to including some kind of activity at home, which in many cases considers the very specific needs and interests of its inhabitants. Flexible open space - an open area at home or the office which can be used in various ways.
Traditional Home Gym
"The front veranda is delimited by a foyer in the façade revealing two wooden boxes divided by the social area. The kitchen opens to the living room, encrusted in one of the boxes that hold the utility areas. The bar opens out to the social area and is contained in the box that holds the bedroom as well. At the end of the corridor of the bedrooms, which can also be accessed from the outside of the house, there is a spa delimited by external walls and composed by a gym room, a sauna and a small outdoor pool encircled by the deck."
"'The 2400-square-foot new-build, finished this past summer, actually serves three purposes: besides needing a guest house for the family’s many visitors, the homeowners wanted a dedicated workout area for her ("I exercise outside whenever I can, but needed something with views to use in bad weather," she says.) and, for him, an expansive first-floor garage with a ceramic checkerboard tile floor."
"The garden has been projected respecting the existent rocks and the important trees species sited in the plot. Inside the garden take place a ring pedestrian way that surrounds the villa and that slowly discovers different layers of the garden: a playground area, a vegetable garden and a relax area."
"The architects were faced with a task to design a complete sports facility within an existing suburban landscape and limited space. The basement containing locker rooms and weight benches, the ground floor with cardio-vascular machines and the first floor accommodating a yoga gym - constitute the necessary building area requirements."
"The client wants to transform the last two levels of a building to create living spaces for her two athletically inclined children, who are now grown adults. The primary goal is to create a shared living space in which all utilitarian functions are shared but which still allows each person to have privacy. The architectural concept consists in removing the floor currently separating the two levels to create a wide-open space in which two large boxes appear to float in mid-air. This configuration creates three gaps, each being two floors high; the centre gap becomes a physical exercise room with a pair of gymnastics rings."
"They wanted both a skateboard park and a piano rehearsal room to reflect their own individual interests. The sliding glass panels of the first floor open up onto this enclosed area and allows for the workshop and studio to expand outwards. The studio has a skateboard bowl embedded into the floor with multiple angles for plenty of different interactions."
"For this house project, we’ve tried to create a new relation between indoor basketball court and living house. The layout arrangement of this house is inspired by typical gymnasium layouts, where we have the indoor basketball court planned in centre core space of the house, with rooms located on opposite sides of the court."
"Inhouse Brand Architects has converted the unused lounge area of a Cape Town residence into an industrial-inspired dream pad for the family’s lucky teenage boy and his friends. Taking into account the youngster’s various interests such as skating, surfing and socialising, the Inhouse team aimed to create a trendy, multifunctional space."
"The client, who spends his days off travelling to mountains in various regions for rock climbing, is a professional-level boulderer who is also qualified as an instructor. We were asked to design a serious climbing wall that could also be used as the client’s training room. The bouldering room is adjacent to the living room and offers enjoyment both to the person training and to family members watching him while they spend time together in the same space."
"In terms of design, the problem of office syndrome is Onion’s concern. Spending hours working in the same bodily posture is unhealthy either with a computer or a pencil. Onion’s proposal is the design for good health, promoted by the office for the employees. The arrangement of stretching tools is the design of Inteltion Office. These tools are organised by areas, ranging from easy to difficult exercises, namely “finger walk”, “arm wheel”, “spinning chairs” and most difficult of all “monkey bars”."
Flexible Open Space
"The brief was to create a workout studio in the rear garden of our client’s house as there was no gym in the local área of Walthamstow Village.Our restrictions were quite demanding, as we had to work on the permitted development regulations and a small footprint with in the garden. The permitted development only allows a certain roof height. To get around this we lowered the ground floor as there is no local or national policy on digging down –now we have plenty of height for skipping and jumping."
"Firstly, an open space is configured, and the whole programme is grouped and arranged around an L-shaped band on two sides. This band includes the access to the household, the outer façade windows, a folding bed, the storage space, a complete kitchen, a fold-down auxiliary table, access to the bathroom and the washing machine. It optimises the spatial distribution and compacts all the functions so that everyday activities can benefit from as much space as possible, all the while adapting to the geometry of the apartment."
"Through breaking the routines and bringing a "home" into the workspace, JACKY.W DESIGN created an open and multifunctional living experience space for the fashion brand TKSTYLE BOUTIQUE. The designers gave full play to the structure and height (8 meters) of the original space, and ingeniously integrated functional areas for working, reception, fitness and conference, etc. into the two-story space without rigid partitions. There are windows in each wall, which ensures sufficient natural lights to penetrate to the space, thereby resulting in a bright and airy environment."
We invite you to check out ArchDaily's coverage related to COVID-19, read our tips and articles on Productivity When Working from Home and learn about technical recommendations for Healthy Design in your future projects. Also, remember to review the latest advice and information on COVID-19 from the World Health Organization (WHO) website.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on March 31, 2020.