As the winners of the 2013 Design is … Award Market Award, Shaw Contract Group winning firms interviewed as part of a section of Shaw Contract Group blog which will last a year. Throughout the year, readers can learn more about the 48 winning projects and the individuals who perform them. These are their stories.
Gensler Principal, Sandi Warneke, talks to us about the client’s growth, bright colors and employee exercise in the hallways.
When did you decide to pursue a profession in design?
As a child I used my dolls for scale to build furniture for them…then I moved on to cardboard houses.
How did you find your love for design? Is there anyone who played a major role in that?
My father designed and built a custom home for our family- going through this experience and seeing how much he loved the magic of taking an idea to a reality had me hooked on wanting to do the same thing.
Tell me about your client.
The client was the source of inspiration for this project- the vision for the company started with one fitness center in California in the early eighties and has grown to one of the largest fitness chains with over 500 locations. With the goal of providing high quality affordable fitness centers, especially in light of the obesity epidemic in the US, this goal has taken on the dynamics of a noble cause to get America fit.
How did you determine what graphics to use on the walls?
The graphics are back lit changeable film images (by Duratrans) that can be frequently changed so that the imagery is always fresh. With the growth of the company, the pride in showcasing the new locations along with imagery of fit bodies and branded text, the corridors are opportunities to tell the story of the firm. While photographing the space, we saw staff doing lunges down one of these corridors – that’s really living the brand!
Tell me something that was unusual about the project.
We were a bit surprised at how much the client wanted the space to have a professional, corporate aesthetic. Our first instinct was to design creative space with open ceilings, sliding doors, etc. But the success of the company is that they understand the business of the fitness industry- the space reflects this professionalism.
Think about a situation when things turned out different than you expected. How did the outcome impact the end result of the project?
We chose a vibrant re-orange color as the anchor hue to symbolize the “color of life” for the project. The client ultimately was so drawn to this color that they used this new color for their corporate logo/branding.