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Oktra designs Gymshark’s first North American headquarters

Oktra has designed another bold workspace for the fitness apparel business Gymshark, referencing the brand’s UK offices and surrounding Denver.

06/04/2021 3 min read

Gymshark is one of the most exciting business success stories in recent history, having recently been valued as a £1B company – making it only the second British company to achieve ‘unicorn’ status. A significant percentage of its turnover comes from the US market, prompting the company to establish a route into the US to support its American consumers.

Gymshark’s Denver office, or GSDNV, will localise the company’s offering, enabling it to grow its business over the next five years. Oktra, the design and build company behind Gymshark’s locations in the UK and Hong Kong, has designed GSDNV and led the project from its office in Clerkenwell, London.

GSDNV includes a refuelling area for staff complete with local catering, meditation rooms, rehabilitation or physical training facilities, dressing rooms and even a barber. The workspace also hosts a range of spaces tailored to support the way Gymshark’s teams will be working, from café-style informal meeting lounges to open agile workspace, meeting rooms and an ideation room with entirely writable walls for real-time innovation and collaboration.

‘The opening of GSDNV is the latest milestone on this incredible Gymshark journey,’ says Paul Richardson, Executive Chairman of Gymshark. ‘Culture and community flows through everything we do and stand for. That’s why, alongside the guys at Oktra, we’re delighted to have built a US headquarters that echoes what we stand for but has its own identity.’

Featuring urban materials like sealed concrete flooring, suspended ceiling rafts and mesh, the workspace is indicative of Gymshark’s UK and Hong Kong locations – even creating a direct replica of its UK boardroom, incorporating part of the company’s home within its newest location. 

However, GSDNV has an identity all its own, a fusion of the brand and the surrounding area. ‘It’s bold and brave as an approach,’ explains lead designer Sean Espinasse. ‘This workspace is going to fuel Gymshark’s growth by giving them a home: it’s about connecting people. It’s a space for people to congregate but it’s also a flexible environment. The dynamic nature of the design is what will enable Gymshark to grow.’

Users progress from a dramatically low-lit reception and meet and great area, to increasingly brighter spaces as they move deeper into the office and simultaneously closer to the building’s perimeter, eventually met with pristine white workspaces and striking views of downtown and nearby mountain range. ‘The light in Denver is unique and it amplifies the contrast inside the space that makes it a particularly striking design,’ adds Sean.

One of the most impactful features of the space is its lighting system. Smartengine intelligent lighting by WTech uses sensors to monitor surrounding levels of light and mimic natural daylight, keeping circadian rhythms intact even in the built environment. The same sensors pick up information on space use as well, allowing Gymshark to monitor office occupancy and efficiency while cutting energy use by 90% – first installed by Oktra in Gymshark’s UK headquarters. 

The new office provides Gymshark’s teams with the resources they need to further their growth in the American market, and it signals a similar period of transformative change for the surrounding area as Denver emerges as one of the world’s newest business capitals.

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