Club Insider

Modern Club Architecture and Design - Part II

Featuring Interviews With Rudy Fabiano and Bruce Carter

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In Part I of our 2-part cover story on modern club architecture and design, Rudy Fabiano and Bruce Carter discussed many of the aspects required in the detail-oriented field of club architecture of design. There are many things to consider with every project before you ever get to the stage of picking actual design elements, materials and finishes. This month, in Part II, Rudy and Bruce will discuss those design elements, materials and finishes. I invite you to read on.

Conclusion of Club Insider's May Interview With Rudy Fabiano, Principal, Fabiano Designs

Rudy FabianoRudy Fabiano

Club Insider (C.I.) - To close this interview, let's talk about some top level modern design principles. First, please discuss the various spaces of a typical multipurpose facility design.
Rudy Fabiano (RF) - I think it's important to understand that there has been a fundamental shift on how we view our spaces and our clubs. Our perspective changed from, 'How can we make the consumer become part of our club?' to 'How can my club become part of my member's lives?' We moved from just creating nice lobbies for great first impressions to elevating each major workout program as a unique entity within the club. As we focused on the customer experience, and what drove membership and loyalty, it became clear we had to put more design effort in the workout. The majority of consumers join and stay for their ability to enjoy and get a great workout. As one of my most successful owners on the west coast with very design-savvy facilities told me, 'We are a fitness company.'

Boutiques such as Soul Cycle were killing it, precisely because they used the designs to elevate the workout, rather than high design just in support spaces. As we recognized that different groups used certain parts of the clubs, some for the weights and cardio, while others just the group fitness classes, we started to focus on elevating the design for each workout space as if it was a boutique offering. This sent a clear message to our members that we were going to take their fitness environment and overall experience serious. Create amazing spaces to get a great workout was how design could really make a difference in the modern health club.

Chill by Gainesville Health & FitnessChill by Gainesville Health & Fitness

This strategy was reinforced while we renovated Gainesville Health & Fitness. Joe Cirulli introduced us to a book called New Rules of Retail. It solidified what we were trying to do as it spoke about creating unique environments within the overall store, creating experiences that excite the consumer. We expanded on this idea of boutique presentations for every major area, including the sales area, training areas, aquatics, locker rooms, etc. Everything was uniquely designed within a cohesive facility. This created multiple memorable experiences, highlighting all the cool programs the club offers, while bringing intimacy and fun to the facility. The final designs tested off the charts in a before and after comparison of consumer satisfaction with the Medallia company.

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