Rabih Geha Architects designs a contemporary gym for Beirut’s Badaro district

Located in a residential area, a new gym and health bar encourages a healthy community lifestyle.

Designed by Lebanese design studio Rabih Geha Architects, a new gym and health bar in Beirut’s Badaro district features a contemporary white and mint blue interior. Situated on the ground floor and basement level of a building on a residential street, the V&V offers a place to”hang out and work out”.

The interiors project consists of a health bar (which contains seating), offices, and a gym (complete with lockers and washrooms). The ground floor, defined by an all-white juice bar, emphasises well-being and healthy living, while the seating which extends to the outside terrace, invites people in. The basement level maintains a more intense function, and houses the heavy weightlifting machines and lockers.

The design practice approached the project with the idea of bringing the outside in, spatially and visually, from the terrace to the ground floor and down to the basement. This is first achieved through the main facade, as folding, black powder-coated, steel-framed glass doors are able to fully open. Even when closed, the transparent glass panels achieve visual communication.

Continuity is further reinforced by both the basalt flooring, which spans the entire project, as well as the gym’s verticality, achieved via the ground floor void that overlooks the basement, as well as a main staircase that connects both levels.

Giving the space a raw feel, the exposed ceiling, which highlights the cable ducts and air conditioning functions, is painted white. This is complemented by an interior glass partition which is framed in white aluminium, contributing to the light and transparency of the interior.

It was important to Rabih Geha Architects to maintain visual connection throughout the space, therefore, from the studio, users can see the offices, physiotherapy room and work out space located at the far end.

For materiality, the gym applies simple and pure resources, which bode well for the minimal colour palette. These include the perforated aluminium sheet that wraps the centre of the space, as well as the handrails and locker cabinet doors. Elsewhere, thick white Corian slabs are used in the lavatories and locker and shower areas.

While natural light was an important element to the design, the architects installed artificial lighting to help guide users throughout the space and lead them down to the basement level. Apart from the exposed lighting fixtures that span the basement ceiling, a void and vertical lighting grid extends from the ground floor downward, helping to further illuminate the space.