Operators were so excited with Snap’s new identity that they selected Amber Road’s design as an upgrade option for all refits across Australia and the United States.
It’s still early days for the newly formed Amber Road, but the Sydney-based design studio is already generating interest. And its recent Snap Fitness fit out in Sydney’s George Street is an early indication that sisters Katy Svalbe and Yasmine Ghoniem are interested in delivering projects that are both intelligent and playful.
Interior designer Ghoniem’s brief was to revamp the American gym franchise to appeal to a Sydney clientele. “We had to transform the brand without losing its original identity,” she explains. “And without changing it too much.” With a client that was supportive and open to new ideas, Ghoniem’s eventual design proposition provided a simple yet effective solution.
She has used three design elements to break up the 445sqm space and denote different functions. Fencing, inserted to separate the work-out area, is immediately suggestive of a cool urban environment. While the birch reception and group of three plaster cast gym items displayed on a wall add an element of the handmade to an otherwise industrial, hard-edged space.
Ghoniem acknowledges that designing a gym is difficult because of the need to accommodate the gym’s equipment, which is more often than not large and bulky. “What we tried to do is not hide the equipment,” she explains. “But rather make it very evident that there are places within the space where you work-out and places where you can sit down and chat to a friend.”
The result is a design first and foremost concerned with the comfort of the end-user. Custom-made birch boxes, which can be interconnected to form benches, also act as moveable seating for staff and clients. “We wanted to make going to the gym an exciting and social experience,” says Ghoniem. And judging by initial feedback they have managed to do just that.