Sarah Mannerings Studio transform flooded garage into apocalyptic HIIT studio
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Sarah Mannerings Studio transform flooded garage into apocalyptic HIIT studio

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I created an environmental, experiential platform for the concept which was inspired by the idea of a post-apocalyptic, futuristic world.
– Sarah Mannerings

Sarah Mannerings Studio have transformed an unserviced and flooded basement garage in London into an apocalyptic-themed fitness studio for rowing-based high-intensity interval training workouts.

The 1675sq ft (156sq m) space is the first and flagship site for the Rowbots fitness brand, which offers 45-minutes classes in which individuals alternate between rowing machines and floor-work.

The brief requested the conversion of the derelict space into a boutique gym with a reception space, a fitness studio and changing rooms, noting that circulation would be important due to limited changeover time between classes.

Sarah Mannerings Studio was able to fit a 20-capacity studio with 10 rowers and space for weight-lifting and floor-work, separate male and female changing rooms with toilets, showers and lockers and shake making facilities into the limited space.

The design draws on the brand concept of transhumanism and the idea that human beings can evolve beyond their current physical and mental limitations.

"I created an environmental, experiential platform for the concept which was inspired by the idea of a post-apocalyptic, futuristic world," explained Mannerings. "The reception and studio environment have been designed to feel gritty, dark and rough and give the impression that the 'Rowbots' have descended underground to train to survive an apocalypse.

"In stark contrast to the reception and studio spaces, the changing rooms are designed to feel ethereal and optimistic. After class, I wanted to give clients the sense that they had been transformed and transported to a new world."

Fixtures and finishes include remnants of the former garage, panels from the old car lift shaft for the seating area within reception and existing concrete beams and columns that have been hand-finished to look worn.

Lighting consultants Nulty complemented the aesthetic with a mix of neon blue and amber strip lights and LED cables in and around the main exercise space, with calmer more high-end fixtures in the reception and changing areas.

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Sarah Mannerings Studio have transformed an unserviced and flooded basement garage in London into an apocalyptic-themed fitness studio for rowing-based high-intensity interval training workouts.
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