ST PAUL’S SCHOOL
Elevating Athletic Potential
Location: Hammersmith, London
Training Space: Independent School
St Paul’s was founded in 1509 and has always boasted a strong sporting heritage with several student athletes representing the school at the highest level across various sporting disciplines. The vision of this project was to design an industry leading training space which supported all students at every training age, allowing them to develop, learn and grow.
In recent years it’s become the norm across the Independent school sector to develop a youth athlete development program. This is underpinned through highly qualified coaches, often whom have come from the world of elite sport and through the development of new functional training spaces that accommodate athletes & students of all ages and sporting disciplines.
St Paul’s School had a vision to develop a state-of-the-art training space, which would allow them to teach the foundations of physical literacy and develop their athlete development program. The aim of the project should provide second to none facilities to all their students providing them the platform to flourish and learn.
A dis-used fencing room was identified as a potential space for the new facility with a vision to spread the gym across two floors installing a “U” shape mezzanine which would overlook the ground floor’s open/functional movement area. The gym renovation would form part of a multi-million-pound project for the school as they looked to develop surrounding buildings to support the schools strong academic traits.
IndigoFitness were selected to deliver this project following several design proposals in which we worked closely with head of strength and conditioning – Ryan Blake. Having held previous roles within Elite Sport, Ryan had a clear vision as to what he wanted the space to have and the flow he was looking to achieve. Indigo provided designs which emphasised this whilst providing options with custom manufacturing that allowed these ideas to develop. Key considerations included:
The space has to work for individual sessions but also large numbers during lessons. The space needed to be practical to allow for teaching lessons, this included keeping open space so the coach can have visibility of all students during lessons.
Does the layout and equipment allow the coaches to teach the fundamentals but also allow athletes to train specifically too? The right kit selection is key to underpinning the coaches training philosophy.
How easy is it for the students to access certain pieces of kit? Key considerations have to be made as to kit positioning so that lessons run smoothly without kit being dragged across the facility.
Indigo opted for a zonal approach to the facility design, ensuring various training modalities were kept within specific zones in the facility. The back-to back racks and various attachments provided space for compound lifting and accessories. The free-weights area housed the dumbbells, slam balls, kettlebells and cable machines. The main open functional movement area was placed in the middle of the facility as the center piece which was visible from the mezzanine. Storage solutions around the functional area were made double sided to allow kit to be seamlessly used in both the free-weights and open areas. Turf markings allowed the space to be used as both open space or used for specific movement drills and/or sled push pulls.
The mezzanine housed the cardio, fixed machine and physio/rehab areas all of which had their own space/zone. The Physio-rehab area would be situated outside the physio office, this would house a bespoke storage solution for all the smaller items with the on/off feet conditioning pieces situated next door. A cardio offering which would space the mezzanine and include 15 wattbike’s, 2 curve treadmills and 9 concept items provide the students a whole host of different training modalities. Finally the RAZE strength pin loaded kit finished in bespoke two-tone upholstery and custom branding would provide a final alternative training method for staff and students.
St Paul’s brand identity was considered throughout with custom upholstery, logo plates, frame colour and markings on the turf. Indigo worked closely with various St Paul’s staff to ensure every detail was considered across all aspects of the project.
EnduraTile 30mm Performance Floor – Black
Custom PaviFLEX Turf
Bespoke graphix platforms
Custom concrete finish vinyl
Back to back RAZE Zenith Series full racks (8 Racks total) and attachments
Bespoke & custom RAZE Shadow Series Lat pull & dual cable machine
Bespoke RAZE functional rig
Custom storage (Warm up, physio/rehab and free-weight)
Bespoke Adjustable benches
RAZE Strength equipment – including Bi-lateral leg press, Reverse Hyper, GHD, PU Dumbbells 5-50kg, Leg Extension/Curl, Multi-press and S&C Kit.
Concept2 BikeErg, SkiErg and Rower
RAZE Renegade Air Bike and Runner
Spirit Treadmill, Elliptical and Bikes
IndigoFitness have created a leading training space in Education in the UK. The facility not only looks amazing but also meets and exceeds allexpectations set out by the client with all key considerations met. The new training space allows students to develop in their respective fields and provides state of the art equipment to do so. It also provides the coaches a platform to teach their program, allowing for everything from strength and conditioning to physio/rehab and sport science. The facility also provides the school with a huge USP when attracting the next wave of students, allowing them to attract what could be the future of their sport.
“This new training space is going to make a massive difference to the school. It’s going to be used for many things such as P.E. lessons, co-curricular activities and sports performance training. It’s 4-5 times bigger than the gym we had. We can get a lot more boys in here at once doing different things at the same time. It’s ultimately going to allow the boys more choice and freedom as to what they can do and when, there are no restrictions on time and numbers any more. It’s very much an open free to use facility that will fit the boys schedules better throughout their school day.”
Ryan Blake, Head of sport science, St Paul’s
HEAR FROM HEAD OF SPORT SCIENCE AT ST PAUL’S
What challenges were IndigoFitness able to help you overcome?
The biggest challenges IndigoFitness helped us overcome were ultimately creating a space and environemnt that was fit for function purpose. That ticked off all the boxes we needed for the multipe varied user groups that will be using this space.
How was the process of working with IndigoFitness?
What stood out about Indigo was we told them what we wanted to achieve and they helped us get there. Vs them telling us what we need and us helping them get there, which was really positive and made the whole process alot more effective and efficent.
What was the concept for the layout of the gym?
One of the biggest challenges we had was making sure we had all of the appropriate zones for the different types of exercise activity that would take place there. Downstairs is very much a strength, power, performance area for sports performance. Upstairs is more of a general health, welness, fitness space also for rehabilitation and physiotherapy. So getting the balance right was tricky, but the process was made a lot easier by giving lots of choice and revising plans until we had the perfect fit, which I am very pleased with the final outcome.
What was the concept for the layout of the gym?
It will give the boys much more opportunity to improve in certain areas and also to enjoy having this on their door step whilst they are at school.
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