Year | 2023
Location | Broomhall, Sheffield
Clients | Unity Gym

Unity Gym isn’t just a place for fitness; it’s a hub for positive change and community integration

Throughout the live project – referred to henceforth as LP – the team worked closely with Unity Gym, a local charity-run space for fitness and social engagement. Although the gym itself does not generate significant revenue compared to larger gym chains, it offers much more than just fitness facilities to its community and users. It caters to vulnerable youth and adults in the area, providing them with a safe space to socialise in a nurturing environment. Users have access to mentors and volunteers, as well as opportunities to improve their fitness, health, and well-being.

Over the course of six weeks, the team consulted with various gym users and members of staff at Unity Gym to gain insight into how they utilise and value their space. Initial on-site meetings allowed the LP team to further develop their understanding of the project’s objectives and expectations. The gym’s goals for the project centred on improving the quality of the gym’s compact interior, focusing on concerns such as the curled-up edges and trip hazards of the floor matting, inefficient ventilation, and ceiling structure issues. The project also involved consideration of larger improvements, including the expansion of facilities by gaining access to the adjacent unit in order to create more flexible and sociable spaces.

The project was executed in phases, which outlined architectural changes to the space at different levels and within various feasible timeframes. These phases were categorised as low, medium, and high-cost. These categories allowed the LP team to explore ideas for improvements that the gym could implement in the near future, as well as providing long-term development plans. Interactive models were used to facilitate productive discussions with gym members in order to refine spatial arrangement changes and space improvements once new flooring had been implemented. Communication with the gym was facilitated through a whiteboard filled with prompts and messages, and a fundraising event was organised to raise additional funds for the short-term renovations of the gym.

The LP team’s objective was to create plans for a comfortable, sustainable, and socially engaging community space in alignment with the Unity Gym ethos. Each team member gained valuable experience and insights by working collaboratively, leveraging their individual skills to deliver physical and digital outputs that were beneficial to the client at multiple stages of the project.


Mentor: Kate Nicklin
Client: Unity Gym
Location: Broomhall, Sheffield
Students: Tzu-Ting Chen, Samuel Cook, Sarah Dalton, Amine Daoud, Gabriela Di Castro Calderon, Haoxuan Liang, Samuel Lodder-Knowles, Madiha Rahman, Naajiyah Sultana, India Wilkinson, Jemma Woods.