Borja Laguia is the Manager in the design department at PAVIGYM HQ. Based at our corporate home in Alicante, Borja and a full team of interior designers, architects and building engineers work together to design every new PAVIGYM space in countries across the world. As specialists in fitness flooring, PAVIGYM places a great deal of importance in the design process for its customers and has a full suite of solutions to maximise every space in a fitness club. Here Borja shares his thoughts on what matters the most when it comes to designing our spaces.
What do you think makes space look great?
When it comes to design, it isn’t important if your space is large or small; it is possible to design a great looking space, whatever the room you have. What is most important is that everything you implement in terms of design is consistent with your brand and your audience. When the design matches the other elements of your brand neatly, the results are brilliant.
The biggest contribution we make to our customer’s plans is helping them to take into account who they’re communicating to.
Brands often include motivational phrases in their interior designs. We advise not to use random quotes as they can look ingenuine and out of place.
What process do you go through when deciding how to brand a space?
We start with pictures of the facility and we focus on your target audience mostly: what do they like? What message are you trying to communicate to these guys?
We prefer to receive as much information from our customer as possible about their space, their clients, what they definitely love… and they definitely don’t. Most of the time, the best starting point is for us to share examples of what we do, what we have done before [similar ideas that relate to their brand] from this, the feedback we receive can be put forward to make a unique design for this customer.
Eventually, we will want CAD and architectural plans of the facility from the customer, their stock images, brand assets and insight into their website. With all those things considered, from the first design idea to the installation it typically takes about one month, but in some cases in larger projects, the customer requires a year to bring all of the pieces of the puzzle together just right.
At any one time, we might manage around 30 projects per week. Completing a customised design on a real space well takes about 5 days.
What are your top tips for studios looking to re-design their spaces?
- Visually identify what fits and identifies with your target audience. Creating a simple mood board of ideas you like – or you think they will like – is a perfect base to start from.
- Be consistent with everything you put inside the room – every element should be consistent with the other.
- Get the distribution of space right. When this is done properly and you invest time into maximising the long-term best use of your space, you will make your space go further <How to make use of your outdoor space>. Not forgetting that a well-designed work out area will motivate people to move!
- Floor design is, of course, our speciality – whether it’s floor markings or assembling a whole PRAMA studio, we test ourselves regularly to give our customers the WOW factor they’re looking for.
Do you find certain colours work best in smaller spaces?
Yes; if you’re working with colours in a small space you need to try to make the colour palette as light as possible.
Small spaces dressed with dark colours can make space feel constricted – or claustrophobic. Fluorescent colours and lighting are a go-to to help make space feel bigger.
You can see this with PRAMA – a dark environment usually, with LED light effects, you create the illusion of a larger space.
What are the FAQs you get asked by the studios?
“How can I maximise the number of users we can invite into this space?”
The client normally knows how many people they want to work with, so we use our design systems and calculations to optimize the space for users to train comfortably [Prama configurator]. We always strive to make the most out of a client’s available space and will design with that in mind so that every area has a specific function and purpose.
What’s your favourite part of the design process?
I love when we have just been given a fresh brief from a customer and we start to imagine what we can do – When our imaginations are free to run wild.
What are the top lessons you’ve learned [over the last 5 years]?
Working with such a wide spread of clients from all over the world, I’ve learnt that it is important to take into consideration all their specific preferences when designing the perfect space. This is something we work hard to achieve.
For me, the biggest thing to understand is that our customers have invested a great deal to create their dream space. To feel that you are with them on that journey and that as a professional you are capable of designing what they have been dreaming of is pretty special.
Use some of these customer’s favourites to get started on a mood board of your own.