Cactus recently fused 'connected' architecture, brand, and fitness to create a revolutionary uplifting gym experience that inspires high-intensity workouts with a jaw-dropping, lighting experience. Partnering with Rise Nation on their newest Colorado locations, Cactus' mood-enhancing design creates a signature experience for gym goers that reinvents and reimagines the workout space of the future - taking health, wellness and design to new levels.
The anchor of this experience is the workout room itself, which is comprised of a series of dynamic, sculptural ceiling fixtures that create immersive, ever-changing environments imbued with energy. The ceiling designs are inspired by the idea of actual mountain climbing environments, aiming to replicate the feeling of mind-wandering freedom that the great outdoors provides. Expansive, rhythmic patterns and frequently-changing scenery translate this idea to a studio fitness setting. The overall effect is a motivating, technological thrill mixed with trance-like nightclub energy.
Cactus employed modular architecture throughout the design, most prominently, in the modular lighting system. This successfully accomplished challenge enables the client to recreate the system in a range of locations, flexible to accommodate differences in square footage, space, height, and density. The interactive ceiling is made up of thousands of LED fixtures, which in turn are comprised of many lightboxes in different shapes, all of these together create a large synchronized digital canvas. A custom system was built to control both interactive visuals and mapping in the same place and by doing so could create unique generative designs that are not only seamlessly mapped but respond to the shape of the space and the individual fixtures.
Using TouchDesigner, a visual development platform for creating real-time media systems, Cactus can quickly load different architectural plans to map hundreds of fixtures and use their shapes and alignments to control different patterns that can work together as a massive display as well as respond to individual user's performance, all this at a smooth 60fps. With a click of a button, the panels can rearrange and perfectly map to the space. "From the user's perspective, the lighting modules promote individuality and unity at the same time," said Cactus' co-founder, Lucas Werthein. "We aimed to redefine the interaction/relationship between the users and the trainer."
"We created a flexible design language aligned with the brand identity, furniture design, materials and finishes that reflect and represent the brand's characteristics," added Cactus co-founder, Marcelo Pontes. "Instead of using passive lighting solutions, we created this artistic/interactive environment, which aligned with RN's dynamic brand and vision."
The creative direction focused on creating an immersive and transportive sensory experience that would allow guests to 'disconnect' and get lost in a world of sound, light, and energy that is the Rise Nation experience. By capitalizing on the reflective nature of the installation design, Cactus increased the perceived ceiling canvas fourfold, thereby significantly amplifying the visual impact of the lighting system's custom content.
The content effortlessly adapts to the interval style training of Rise Nation classes and gives instructors the ability to build custom arrangements, sync music for audio reactive content, and adjust color palettes on the fly. Cactus cleverly sorted content into a designed hierarchy of Macro, Mezzo, and Micro. Macro content syncs all of the lighting modules to create one large, ceiling wide canvas to amplify the shared energy and camaraderie of the studio experience. Mezzo breaks the canvas apart and reclassifies the ceiling by specific shapes and circumferences to create more complex and dynamic movement that boosts studio energy. Micro level content puts the focus on the goals of the individual by only activating the lighting modules directly above the climbers. Micro level also allows a shift of focus to the instructors' podium in order for them to motivate the class, and demonstrate more complex movements.
Photos: Courtesy of Cactus