Form follows function
Where is your boutique gym located?
Our boutique studio is located in the heart of Lichtenberg not far from City Hall and the border with the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district. Nestled in a newly developed neighborhood at Rathausstraße 12 on the site of a former fire station and later police station.
With our concept, we have breathed new life into the old station and offer the neighborhood and its residents a use that was not previously located there and contribute to the successful neighborhood development.
What was your vision?
The focus was about quality and community.
We want to provide a unique overall experience through our boutique gym, where everything is harmonized down to the barbell, where the focus is on the people and the community.
BLN.Athletics is a new place where people come together, have fun and participate from each other.
This means that we add value to our members with our offerings, high-quality equipment and select materials that create the character of the BLN.Athletics brand.
Is this your first studio?
Yes, this is the first studio. In fact, finding a suitable location turned out to be more difficult than we initially thought. After visiting the old fire station, we were immediately impressed by its charm. The old building with its ceiling height of over 4 meters, the columns as well as the brick walls we could imagine very well for our studio.
Who planned the studio and where did the design ideas come from? And who implemented the measures?
After we found the location, we went straight into planning.
We were supported by an architect for the creation of building rights. The floor plan design presented us with some challenges due to the area of around 350 m2 and the previously planned use as a restaurant.
We designed the interior architecture ourselves based on our own ideas and demands on design, quality, shapes and colors. In some cases, coordination was carried out directly on site and ideas were regularly adapted.
Most of the interior work was carried out by the Johannson joinery and cabinetmaker’s workshop. Among other things, the entire drywall construction and all carpentry work (wall panels, lockers, the counter area, the podium and many other fixtures) were executed in high quality and individuality. Today they give the studio its unique style, its identity.
The work was supported by numerous friends and acquaintances who are now part of the community and train with us.
What was important to you in the design?
The former emergency vehicle garage impressed with light-filled spaces with striking ceiling heights. We wanted to preserve the abundance of natural light in any case, as it has a positive impact on the training experience.
Accordingly, the old doorways that stretched across the entire studio on both sides of the building were replaced with generous window fronts.
When implementing the design concept, we focused equally on quality and aesthetics. In our studio, we rely on high-quality materials that meet our requirements and – in the truest sense of the word – also feel good to the touch. Whether on the walls, on the floor or on the individual pieces of equipment – this maxim is visible in every area of the studio.
In addition, each of the studio areas should have its own design language. This is reflected in the lighting design, among other things. Here, our main focus was on designing the right lighting for the respective function. The light has to match the atmosphere: bright and energetic for high-intensity training, natural and active for moderate to low-intensity training, quiet and dimmed for relaxation sessions on the training floor or for recreation and flair in the café area.
Although aesthetics and brand recognition are important to us, our boutique gym was intended to be primarily functional from the start. Therefore, it was important to avoid crowded spaces and clutter, and instead clearly delineate the individual studio areas through zoning and practical wayfinding systems.
Did the studio turn out the way you envisioned it?
Most of the construction work has been completed, but we still have a number of smaller construction sites and all kinds of ideas and detail requests that we would like to implement in the near future. So it will remain exciting in the future, because there is always something new to do!