Role: Base Build Architect
Blok, nicknamed UK’s “most Instagrammable gym” thanks to its huge warehouse-feel studios locations, became part of the project of the former London Warehouse in Manchester, where Archer Humphryes have created a suite of state of the art studios for contemporary exercise and gym work – outs in the program of Native Manchester.
As BLOK has grown to become a gym with one of the strongest aesthetic identities around, its location at Ducie Street Warehouse – added to the public realm of the mixed use scheme, where health and lifestyle are at the core of the overall concept for the scheme. Archer Humphryes curated the themes for the mixed use architecture from the café, the workplace suites, the cinema, the apartments, the flower shop, the restaurant and the gym.
The studios are neatly packed into the brick arched vaults, with careful ambient lighting as the main character of the interior – particular care and attention is given to bringing natural light into the site. Included in the scheme are reception, retail, studios for ballet, pilates and yoga, changing and locker spaces. Dance studios have muted careful gentle light and shielded spaces whilst work – out studios have gritty transparency with the city of Manchester framed in the window view. All are inspired by the industrial heritage of the building with concrete, timber and metalwork as the main palette.