Year | 2022
Location | Attercliffe, Sheffield
Clients | Mettle

Mettle is a community weightlifting and strength and conditioning club based in Attercliffe. They have ambitions to take what has been started with Hallam Barbell to communities across the UK and beyond. 

Mettle offers a framework for community engagement, growth and cohesion in each place it goes.The club’s current space operates as a retail and distribution hub by day and a gym by night and weekends. Our brief was to co-develop a spatial vision for the organisation, aligning with Mettle’s mission to be an innovative weightlifting gym that transcends location. 

Collaboration with Mettle’s community was important for our process. Through a consultation event held within the gym we gained insight into the current successes and future desires of its members and coaches. Over the six weeks our Live Project group also liaised with stakeholders such as branding and design agency, The Lost Line, to evolve a visual narrative consistent with the clubs new identity. This allows for our outputs to be seamlessly implemented into Mettle’s present and prospective ventures. Additionally, we visited new and existing gyms showcasing successful business models as case study research.The outcome of which forms a vision pack for the club consisting of a three stage booklet that explores short, medium and longer term solutions.

Ideas to enhance the existing space include the application of new branding internally and externally to bring a sense of identity and ownership to the site. The medium term programme for Mettle sets out principles for a space of their own whilst developing a club that is inclusive of the wider network of hard to reach communities. A hub and spoke model will connect Mettle with local schools, squads and other sporting organisations to broaden their outreach. It will promote the transformation of club members into Mettle coaches, nurturing a quality and consistency in the training throughout the community. Our longer term proposal amasses plans for a financially sustainable and diverse future with key identified spatial needs that are easily repeatable in different locations.

Our engagement toolkit features a set of scale stencils with weightlifting equipment and other gym necessities to aid the Mettle community in accurately exploring future spatial layouts. The feedback box and comment boards will ensure the thoughts of users are continually captured during these next stages. Altogether, the outcome of our live project will help Mettle in presenting and actualising their vision for moving forwards as they expand their community.


Mentor: James Woodcock
Client: Mettle
Location: Attercliffe, Sheffield
Students: Isabel Chapman, Jessica Minton, Hereward Leathart, Yinuo Zhou, Fenella Pakeman, Natasha Jackson, Simran Dovedi, Oliver Harvey, Ce Bian, Yifan Guo, Chang Lei, Rafia Mahnoor, Wanzhen Zhao.