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Successful Studio Design By Jon Feld Whether stand-alone or in-club, studios have specific requirements There’s no question that the number of exercise studios is on the rise. They’re proliferating in virtually every community that could conceivably be considered a market. According to a CBS News report that aired last year, boutique studios—offering everything from cycling, yoga, Pilates, and personal training, to boxing, CrossFit, and functional training—now constitute 42% of the U.S. club market. That’s double what it was in 2014. Considered within the context of revenue generation—an average gym membership costs about $57 per month, while a single studio class can run $25 to $40—the growth reported makes sense. You might well be thinking about “studios” for any number of reasons. You’re new to the industry and are thinking about opening one. You have an existing multipurpose club, and are considering adding another one or two. You’re weighing the possibility of launching a stand-alone, branded unit to compete with all of the studios popping up around you. Whatever the circumstances, Lavoie creating a studio will present a number of design challenges. Some of them are the same as those faced when constructing a large facility, but some are quite unique, suggests architect Hervey Lavoie, the president of the Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative, based in Denver, Colorado. “The principles of planning—for circulation, adjacencies, and functionality—still apply,” he acknowledges. The core difference, he points out, is that studios simply don’t have the sheer scale and number of attractions possessed by a larger facility. Despite that, they have to appeal to members, and be configured to maximize revenue. CBI interviewed a number of architects and studio operators to identify the design fundamentals that can help you create a studio space that will be attractive and efficient, enhance your brand, and boost your revenues. Successful studio design is about exploring every possible option to make that space work as hard as possible. Program Primacy A studio can be anywhere from 1,200 to 5,000 square feet in size, but, whether it’s large or small, the type of programming offered should drive its design. “In a typical gym, you’ll have several platforms, and an array of equipment, such as cardio, selectorized, and free weights; and different areas for yoga, cycling, group fitness, functional and > 50 Club Business International | FEBRUARY 2016 | Explore, Connect, Succeed! Visit