Robb Report Apr 05

Ultimate Home Tour – THE GYM

The design of this Bel-Air, Calif., home gym, with its green suede walls, stainless steel columns, and dark-stained walnut wood floor, matches the modernist decor of the house at large.  More significantly, the equipment–dumbbells, barbells, weight racks, and custom-built machines, which have been powder-coated brown and upholstered in matching Italian leather–complements the bachelor homeowner’s build.  “I measure my clients’ arms, legs, torsos,” says the gym’s designer, fitness expert Mark Harigian.  “Everything is sized to fit their body biomechanically, to conform exactly to their own specifications–like a custom suit.”  All of the equipment and weights for the gym were milled, drilled, and welded out of 11-gauge commercial-grade steel at Harigian’s fabrication facility.

In addition to reshaping interiors and physiques, Harigian reshapes mind-sets.  “When you have your ideal workout environment, everything to your taste, and tailored to your body, you spend more time there,” Harigian says.  “It makes fitness fun, instead of work.  And if it’s quality of life you’re after–and who isn’t?–make exercise the most challenging and exciting part of your day.”

When designing a home”workout environment” (the designer’s preferred appellation for his creations, which start at $100,000), Harigian spends several days with his client, first and foremost to determine what kinds of exercise and activities he or she prefers.  If a client enjoys rock climbing, running, and white-water rafting, Harigian may design a gym that incorporates a flat-screen television showing the client’s ideal jogging path, a custom pool that simulates a fast-running, sharp-turning river, or a craggy wall climb as precipitous as any Rocky Mountain cliff.  “This client’s preferences were pretty straightforward,” Harigian says of the Bel-Air bachelor for whom he built this space.  “He wanted a place to work out that complemented the rest of his house.  And after all, if your home is not generic, why should your home workout environments be?”

–Andrew Myers