As clients become increasingly more discerning in their health and fitness needs, fitness centres in Asia are evolving to create more holistic experiences for their members.
In its ambitious plan to significantly increase its presence in Southeast Asia, Virgin Active is committed to opening up to 20 new clubs in Thailand by 2022, creating approximately 1,500 jobs in the country.
Fuelled by an investment of 5 billion Thai Baht, this expansion plan aims to provide Thais with a luxurious and unparalleled experience when working out inside a Virgin Active club. It aims to raise the general public’s perception of the local health and fitness industry with its state-of-the-art facilities and innovative use of open spaces for various group exercise programmes.
To bring this vision to life, Virgin Active appointed global engineering and infrastructure advisory company, Aurecon in 2015 to deliver mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) and structural engineering services for its club at the iconic Siam Discovery building; currently the largest multipurpose fitness facility in Bangkok.
Capitalising on Aurecon’s wide range of expertise and familiarity with the Virgin brand, the company was subsequently appointed to provide the same services for the following clubs – Virgin Active Eastville (launched in January 2017), Virgin Active Wireless Road (launched in October 2017), and Virgin Active Chiang Mai (launched in March 2018).
According to Aurecon Project Director Ingkamol Mahabavornruk, it is a huge privilege to be entrusted with these projects as the company is deeply committed to health and safety. By providing the client with innovative solutions, Aurecon is also doing its part in promoting a healthier community in Thailand.
The challenge for the project team was to deliver Virgin Active’s innovative brand and design aesthetic to its new clubs, while working within a limited budget and on pre-existing buildings where the new centres are located.
To address this, Aurecon’s project team had to modify the MEP designs for each club to suit the layouts of the building they are occupying, ensuring that members will feel completely comfortable, relaxed and recharged while within its premises.
As a value-added service, the team also helped to arrange and organise the equipment and facilities in the various clubs strategically to enable Virgin Active’s staff to conduct their maintenance more efficiently. These services provided include the design of electrical systems, building management system, heat, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, sanitary, and fire protection systems.