Captivating, contemporary, a state-of-the-art facility. UFC GYM Nottingham has finally opened its doors and with it comes a revelation of grandeur for the health and fitness market in the United Kingdom.
The first core club launched by UFC GYM UK; located in the vibrant and diverse East Midlands city of Nottingham, boasts a unique set-up for its members.
From the symmetric brilliance of the bag area; fitted with 30 punch bags, to the well-situated Armbar Café, no stone has been left unturned in the architectural development of UFC GYM Nottingham.
Of course, a major influence for the aesthetics comes from other UFC GYM facilities across the globe. The difficulty, however, with any gym project is adapting a set style and perfecting it to become its own unique space.
This is where Tobie Anderson, at Mozzino; the Design Consultant to UFC GYM UK comes in. With a background in traditional martial arts, Tobie is no stranger to combat sports. Combined with his knowledge of the modern-day ultimate fighting presentation, he wanted to design an environment where fans of the UFC; who are often confined to a static position when watching the sport, were able to truly engage with the environment and immerse themselves in a way which transcends the barriers of just being a spectator.
Not only that, but as Tobie himself explains, he felt it was a priority to help create an environment where members of any age; whether that’s adults or children, felt secure enough to let their guards down and enjoy the UFC GYM experience.
“If I’m a father with children can I take my young children to this UFC GYM without them feeling intimidated or scared? The answer is yes,” Anderson proudly claimed.
“As an individual I can go there and feel confident in the space. I’ve been to gyms in the past where there is one punch bag hanging up in the corner and you walk in and see one person confident enough to use it and everyone else avoids.”
This is where the open space concept of UFC GYM Nottingham really showcases the vision of Tobie and the executive team to create a free-flowing environment which encourages individuals to fully embrace the ‘Train Different’ philosophy.
“If I’m sat in the Nottingham site’s café, the idea is to be able to see into the bag area and see the training from the café,” Tobie said, explaining the decisions behind the gym’s open space plan.
“The vision is there. Part of the reason for this; from design and operational [point of view], if I’m hiding everything away, I’m giving another barrier to the idea that I can do this myself, I’m creating another line to cross.
“Whereas by having everything open and flowing throughout the space, I can see that ‘okay, that guy can do it, that girl can do it, so I can do it, maybe my kids can do it, their child’s doing it, what about mine, why shouldn’t I have a go?’”
When it comes to UFC GYM Nottingham, though, there’s one part of the design which stands out above all. Something which not only captures the true legacy of the UFC brand, but also truly establishes the franchise as the ultimate health and fitness alternative.
Forget office spaces, forget traditional receptions, because the Octagon shaped workspace; where all staff from sales to personal trainers are situated, is a totally refreshing concept.
“One of the key things from the design point of view, looking at something like that it’s actually a bit of a challenge,” Anderson said, as he detailed the specifics of the Octagon desk.
“The Octagon geometry as a desk, because it’s always bigger on the outside as an area, than it is on the inside. It’s a challenge to make that work as an actual desk, but the importance of it is that it’s an icon to the brand, as a piece of geometry that Octagon stands out above everything else of what the brand has come from, where it’s derived from.
“It would be easier to do something linear, but as an octagon it says you’re now in UFC GYM and that’s an important moment.”
Before even starting their first training session with the internationally certified coaching team, members are wowed by its architectural brilliance created throughout a 12-month journey, initially starting Anderson under zynk design, before progressing to work solely with Anderson at Design by Mozzino, from concept to delivery finally reaches its crescendo.
With the first UFC GYM UK core club in the bag, Anderson believes that the brand will continue to go from strength to strength, building on the incredible foundations of the landmark Nottingham facility.
“The next sites have another step to take and each site we go to will take another step beyond that,” Anderson expressed.
“It’ll grow stronger and even better in terms of style and design but it won’t take anything away from Nottingham because that’s the birth of it as a UK brand. It’s part of a journey, anyone going to the gym also has to be part of that journey. From a design point of view, it reached where I wanted it to be and then it refined itself and now it’s ready to take the next step.”