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International retail design consultancy, Shopworks was appointed by world renowned Cooper Aerobics to design its first health and wellness centre for the Chinese market which opened in Nanjing Loashan at the end of April 2017. The Cooper Aerobics Health and Wellness Centre aims to create a world-class facility that showcases the respected 45-year heritage of the Cooper brand. The Centre targets the local Chinese people who may need help to improve their health or reverse the effects of a poor lifestyle and chronic disease.

Its program is based on four lifestyle pillars and eight regular habits resulting in a progressively higher quality of life. The brief to Shopworks, was for the Cooper Aerobics Health and Wellness Centre to be a place that reflects these pillars, providing customers with a journey that enables them to feel a positive effect from their first visit; through the engaging architecture, tranquil and inspiring surroundings and immersive experiences with clear educational communications with a simple and friendly approach.

An industrial aesthetic combined with natural materials and plant life brings the outside in and allows the customer the experience of exercising outside indoors. Locally sourced, stained, bamboo cladding is sustainable, cost effective and provides a natural aesthetic in keeping with the local surroundings. Light box style ceiling rafts suspended in clusters at varying heights provide a simplistic and abundant light source. It was also important to express the western heritage of the Cooper brand in order to gain credibility and trust in the Chinese market.

One of the main challenges was to specifically target and communicate with Chinese customers whilst maintaining a western brand image. This approach was fundamental in the redesign of the Cooper logo, brand idenitity and Cooper centre concept. Shopworks have designed a Brand zone: where customers will be introduced to the concept of living a long and healthy life, the ‘Cooper way’. Within this area a retail store will offer Cooper branded merchandise. The Diagnosis zone will house consultation rooms and testing facilities to allow a comprehensive physical examination of visitors overall health and fitness.

The Cooperization zone will feature various exercise facilities including a fun, multi-level indoor running track providing an exciting and visually impressive experience for all visitors. A centrally located climbing wall utilises the height of the space. Blue industrial pendant lamps create an informal atmosphere to the nutrition centre. Feature vinyl tiles border the nutrition centre, juice bar and prescription zone incorporating the brand colours. An Entrepreneurs workshop will feature a lecture space for business seminars, group exercise studios and an exercise equipment showroom.

Design and photography: Shopworks

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