Indigo Fitness is a new fitness and wellness facility with an intervention by the Swiss lighting design firm Lucespazio. The renovation project of an old building in Zurich city centre, carried out by the local firm Philippe Stuebi Architekten, included a complete renovation of the architecture and a new design of all the interior spaces to create new airy, double-height levels where people could both train and relax.
Lighting design challenges in Indoor Fitness Spaces
The lighting design firm Lucepazio, founded by Michela Bonzi and Jörg Frank Seemann, faced the rather difficult task to design the space according to the client’s requests. Both the training and yoga area have no openings to the outside and thus no access to daylight. Nevertheless, the client desired to create a brightly lit space in the training area and to realize a dynamic and energizing atmosphere to promote the best possible workout for gym users.
Another design requirement was to create a pleasant contrast between the strongly lit fitness area, with a vibrant lively mood, and the yoga area, the Spa and the changing rooms, where it was necessary to create an atmosphere of deep relaxation, with a significantly lower light level and a more intimate and restful atmosphere. Last but not least, the limited budget available for the lighting design was a major constraint of the project, and thus it was necessary to optimize the installation to reduce cost.
Utilizing artificial daylight effect in the fitness area
The inspiration for the design of the fitness area came from the structure of one of the walls of the double-height space – probably a result of a previous intervention in the building – which recalls the shape of windows.
Lucespazio came up with the idea of not only recreating an artificial daylighting effect but also of recreating artificial windows with Venetian blinds, using a very dense arrangement of diffuse luminaires. The ingenious touch, which makes the lighting effect very realistic, is the addition of side luminaires placed at an angle to recreate the light/shadow effect that the Venetian blinds would cast with natural light. The dense arrangement of luminaires made it possible to create a luminous surface large enough to meet the lighting levels required by the norm and to improve the perception of the space, making it appear more spacious and lighter.
The same luminaire arrangement creating artificial windows was installed also in the adjacent yoga space, to create a visual continuity between the different areas of the gym, whilst additional diffuse round luminaires create a soft and uniform effect, perfect for the yoga practice. The pendant and ceiling-mounted versions of the same tubular luminaires were used in the rest of the fitness area, where the lighting concept involves a randomized arrangement of fixtures that, together with additional spotlights, emphasizes again the idea of dynamism and empowerment through movement.
The reference to the typical industrial lighting style yet with an unconventional arrangement, along with the very clean and rough interior design of the space, overall creates a contemporary ambience capable of fully representing the brand identity of Indigo Fitness.
The Spa area: silhouettes in the dark
The primary goal for the Spa area was fostering relaxation, while at the same time creating a distinctive atmosphere. To achieve this result, Lucespazio designed a very dark environment with luminous elements that help orient and visually characterize the space, yet without disturbing the spa guests. The same language made of diffusing linear luminaires is here interpreted differently: the circulation space is illuminated by a continuous line of RGBW diffuse wall luminaires creating an artificial horizon on the outer walls, one meter high from the floor level.
The focal feature of the Spa, however, is the central steam bath: lit from within by RGBW downlights, the volume becomes a sort of lantern in the centre of the space thanks to its diffuse glass perimeter walls, which only allow a glimpse of the silhouettes of the people relaxing inside. The combination of these two design elements creates an environment where volumes dissolve and details are blurred, resulting in a profound sense of calmness and relaxation.