Virgin Active lives and breathes their mantra to ‘Live happily ever active’. This active principle was encoded into the building through the design concept Always in Motion, or AIM as it became known. This informed the entire process, imbuing the design with an energy and sense of movement that is woven throughout the space.
Located, as it is, in one of Bangkok’s busiest intersections, the club is at the centre of a growing business and residential hub. The strong red of the brand was turned into an energetic, dimensional form to act as a flag and also to pull people up to the 7th, 8th and 9th floors which house the club. The faceted form continues in the shape of a striking red staircase that punches through all the upper floor plates. The visual connection created by the voids and the staircase was essential in keeping the energy flowing through the space and fostering a communal feeling that might be lost if the floors were separated.
The changing rooms are a match for any premium hotel thanks to the elegant detailing and refined materials. Functionality was considered in all aspects so that each member’s visit was a smooth one. Even the tiniest details, like toiletry slots and niches were taken into account.
The climbing wall was another innovative design, incorporating active LED lighting in each of the hand holds, that guide the climber up the wall. Different climbs can be programmed into the wall depending on the climber’s skill. The faceted face of the wall continues the active principle and challenges climbers of different levels with ever harder angles.
Another challenge was the broad range of activities the club offers, from high intensity V Cycle, through to the gravity yoga and the ultra relaxed salt room. Each space was designed to amplify the energy of the exercise. Strong angular lights and facets match the fast, high energy of the V Cycle studio while sinuous, timber slats in the Mind & Body studio embody the flowing energy of yoga and pilates.
The colour and materials palette is a demonstration of the concept of motion; the graduation from white, through to the greys and on to black echoes the changing light and mood of the day; red is the energetic power colour which is contrasted with warm woods for calmness, ultimately creating a dynamic yet balanced space.