A new frontier in gym interior design: the biophilic gym

in Biophilic Design

I'm not very much of a gym girl. Actually, I carefully avoid gyms and I’d rather do some sort of workout at home.

The reasons for this are various: saving on commuting time, having a shower in the comfort of my home… Plus the fact that I never find gyms to be particularly appealing interiors!
So I started wondering: what if the reason why I don’t like going to the gym was the gym?!

The concept of biophilic gym includes all that is missing in regular gyms:

  • Natural light
  • View of nature
  • Greenery
  • Organic space layout
  • Overall inviting and invigorating atmosphere

 
In a biophilic gym, everything is designed around wellbeing. And in fact, going to the gym should be a pleasure, an act of love towards ourselves, not just another appointment on the agenda!

So let’s dig deeper into the elements of a biophilic gym!

View of a biophilic gym with plants hanging on the walls, a mural depicting a soothing forest and grass-like carpet.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Biofit (opened in a new window/tab) gym in London

The design

Like in every biophilic design, it all starts with abundant natural light. As a complement, human-centric artificial lighting gifts guests with an energizing effect during the day and a relaxing one in the evening.

Air quality is another staple in a biophilic gym.
Air-purifying plants are used extensively and natural scents (like pine essential oil) are diffused to enhance the sense of wellbeing. This so-called forest aromatherapy carries indoors some of the health benefits of walking in nature, bringing the experience of a training session to a whole new level.

As a side note, air-purifying plants are mainly low maintenance. They survive all-year-long indoors and require just weekly watering, which makes a biophilic gym easy to maintain for its owners.

What’s also important is that plants and scents are mostly indigenous. This helps connect the space with its surrounding environment – one of biophilic design's key objectives.

View of a biophilic gym showing wide floor-to-ceiling windows that let in a lot of natural light.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Biofit (opened in a new window/tab) gym in London (design by Lily Jencks Studio (opened in a new window/tab))

The training equipment

Forget that infinite line of exercise bikes and treadmills!
In a biophilic gym, the keyword is low-tech. Made of sustainable natural materials, the equipment is an occasion to introduce natural textures and add a tactile experience to the workout.

Close-up view of a wooden training equipment with plenty of hanging plants on the wall behind.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Lily Jencks Studio (opened in a new window/tab)

The space is made up of different zones, each specific for a type of training. But the separation is only visual. It’s the case of the example below, where a huge vertical garden leaves its place to a line of wall-hanging plants that then turn into a wood climbing wall.
The fact that nature is the overall inspiration ties the whole space together creating the feeling of a true wellness oasis.

3D view of the different areas of a biophilic gym, all seamlessly tied together.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Biofit (opened in a new window/tab)

Finishing touches

From grass-like carpet to textured wall panelling, the design of a biophilic gym features many tactile stimulations, which is the technical name for that deeply-rooted desire to go and touch something.

Last but not least, the choice of acoustic music creates an overall soothing atmosphere. And the loudspeakers' natural finish makes them blend with the rest of the design seamlessly.

Another view of a biophilic gym. The overall feel is to be immersed in nature, and is achieved with real plants and nature-inspired finishes like a mural depicting a forest and a grass-like carpet.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Biofit (opened in a new window/tab) gym in London (design by Lily Jencks Studio (opened in a new window/tab))
Close-up view of some equipment and a wooden loudspeaker.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Biofit (opened in a new window/tab) gym in Stockholm

 
The concept of biophilic gym is relatively new, but popularizing it would surely make gyms more inviting!
Biofit (opened in a new window/tab) is a label that identifies biophilic gyms around the world. Or – as they like to say – they aim at creating training environments where “Vitamin Nature is maximized”… brilliant!

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Comments

Don't be shy, let me know what you think!

On Michael Demianiuk said:
I would love it. To work , live , train own , and run. It would be on my dream list
On Silvia - DforDesign said:
Hi Michael, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

It really is such an inspiring gym design! It almost makes me want to exercise! :)

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