Users will find a haven in which the ‘noise of modern day’ is muted at Hagius, a gym housed in a former post office.

Key features 

Instead of opting for an upbeat, energetic design scheme frequently utilized for exercise spaces, studio Gonzalez Haase AAS bet on a more relaxing, subtle concept for Hagius. Their renovation of the 1902 post office focused on providing members with a sensorial experience – a composition of neutral palettes, the space is fitted with biodynamic lighting, ambient sound equipment and custom incense installations. ‘We have created a form of complexity in a space that at first sight may look relatively simple due to the tranquility it exudes,’ explains designer Pierre Jorge Gonzalez. ‘That complexity stems from unusual surfaces and an uncommon composition of materials.’

The design scheme mirrors the sports studio’s goal to help people ‘return to their natural state’ at all hours of the day. No hidden coatings or treatments were used for the interior’s materials, including aluminium, maple, granite, linen and burlap. Materials and lighting shift based on the function of each room. Custom furnishings – like polished stainless steel storage units – were conceived with the ethos that ‘functionality can be beautiful,’ as says Gonzalez. 

Frame’s take

The need for escapism and wellness-oriented design concepts has dominated all sectors of design, especially so since the start of the pandemic. Hagius provides an interesting case of how to rethink health experiences with these trends in mind. The incorporation of various sensory elements, from the lighting and sound to the incense installations, make the space – not just the activities it hosts – a real solution for those looking to disconnect from the bombardment of digitalization and busy city life. Spaces that likewise prioritize mental and physical wellbeing are ultimately the victors of post-pandemic design.