Sports arenas and gyms have transformed their design and function in the last few years. Technology and changing requirements have been the main influencers. First stadiums were weather proofed with retractable roofs, they were enlarged to accommodate more seating and compacted to accommodate live telecasts. And then came personal requirements as yoga and Pilates studios, gyms, racquet ball courts, basketball courts, martial academy and chess academies all transformed their design and function – from vast public open spaces to areas that offer a more confined and personalized experience.
Gyms and sports suffered the most during the lockdown.
People are still hesitant to interact with others, sharing a common space while sweating it out or breathing heavy or just breathing the same air for long lengths of time.
Not surprising then that the sport and health industry has been completely revamped.
One option that people explored led to the construction of home gyms or sports studios. The last few years have seen a surge in home gyms but this trend has escalated post the pandemic. People want to work out but more and more people prefer to do so in the safety of their own homes. And after last year it’s more than just a luxury, it’s a basic requirement as people came to terms with the importance of their personal health and immunity.
However not all people have the space or budget to turn their homes into personal gyms or sports arenas for their children. And for a space that’s used for a couple of hours in a day.
Secondly public play areas which cater to people of all age groups from various backgrounds also had to come to terms with the requirement to meet new safety standards.
Function – regardless to say the first and foremost function of the space is to provide an open and spacious studio or court. One that caters to the requirements of the sport being played.
Hygiene – cleanliness is foremost in any sphere in current times and will continue to be. Surfaces that discourage growth or spread of bacteria, viruses or mould.
Clear finish – Fewer gaps, no ridges, grooves or textures. Surfaces that are smooth, stay clean or self-clean.
Safety – rough edges or surfaces can be dangerous and harmful. Raw materials used need to provide a good grip and absorbing landing surfaces so as to not injure joints or scratch the skin.
Durability – they have to be versatile, long lasting, even tough. Materials used to create sporting areas need to absorb the grind of daily activity which often includes crashes or bangs. Not to mention the sheer numbers of people who use the space.
Laminates cover all these aspects.
While there are a lot of options that cover a few of the above requirements, present day laminates have been successful on all counts.
The highly rated anti fingerprint laminate from Stylam is an ideal product for such spaces.
Laminates are adaptable. They’re toughened and long lasting without fear of cracking under heavy weights or use of force.
Not to mention the fact that they add colour and brighten up any space. I recently visited a studio where they’d created panelling on the walls and covered it with different colour coordinated laminates. Just walking into the room lifted the spirits. One felt like one had stepped into a virtual environment and the following one hour was surreal yet highly enjoyable.
Laminates have always been a preferred option in locker rooms. They’re easily cut into shape, mositure resistant and all they need is a good wipe down to keep clean.
However the high expectations from products in our present times have thrust the uses and benefits of laminates to the forefront.