Notting Hill, London, UK
Pop-up Gym showroom
Matt Morley - Biofit founder
Lily Jencks Studio
Biofit is a new concept gym that harnesses the proven wellbeing benefits of natural environments by bringing the outside landscape into a gym environment, creating a nourishing indoor oasis that reduces stress and boosts the activity and productivity of users. The client Matt Morley invited Lily Jencks Studio to create this indoor landscape and at the same time commissioned a innovative research study by the ukactive Research Institute and the University of Essex Green Exercise Group. They took a scientific approach to quantifying the impact on mood, anxiety-levels and cognitive function of clients before and after experiencing a Biofit class. Research around activity that takes place in a natural environment has shown it has a positive effect on health and wellbeing, specifically by improving self-esteem, mood and stress-coping mechanisms. The Biofit studio is an example of how active participation in green exercise can be brought into a controlled urban environment while retaining the significant positive health effects.
Scientists have proven that a view of a natural landscape reduces patient recovery times. The connection to natural light, changing seasons and fresh air are all crucial. One study, conducted by researcher Roger Ulrich in 1984, found that hospital patients who had window views of natural scenes, like trees, recovered faster and required less pain medication than those with views of a brick wall. A more recent study found similar benefits when potted plants were placed in a hospital room. Biofit's concept: The same health benefits may also apply to overall wellness, including fitness.
Plants are crucial for good air quality (as NASA’s 1989 study proved), which was a key consideration in the design of the Biofit studio. The design sought to create an authentic sense of place by using largely native, seasonal plants, such as ivy and ferns, as well as a select few non-native species, such as palms and Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, chosen for their prodigious oxygen producing properties. Biofit’s respect for nature meant a mindful approach to sourcing materials, with priority given to the natural, responsibly sourced and sustainable. It also opened the door to multi-sensory details such as textured grass-like carpets by Interface, pine essence aromatherapy and an acoustic world music playlist.
Lily Jencks Studio: Lily Jencks, Pati Santos