Design-Build for Interior Retail Space

Updated: Jan 2

Client: Crossfit Soul

Team: Julian Ramirez, Recluse Home, VACO Studio

Scope: Furniture Design & Fabrication

Location: Miami, FL


The COVID-19 pandemic challenged everyone in some way: persons and businesses, physical and mental, financial and emotional. Miami was hit very hard at first with a full shut down, but as soon as they allowed gyms to continue their business, Crossfit Soul was ready to put their Rebirth plan into action. October 2020 marked their 10 year anniversary, which meant that those loyal to the community and culture were about to get a new home.

Many have taken the pandemic as an opportunity to reinvent themselves, or fortify what is most important. Soul did just that by strengthening their brand, creating a provocative line of merchandise, and renovating the entire gym space. As part of that renovation, we were ecstatic to aid in the design and fabrication of the gym’s reception. This area would be seen from the entire gym, create a lasting first impression, and be the last thing people look at it before they call their training done for the day.

The initial proposal sought to keep the same layout as the original setup, however the footprint was reduced to allow for greater comfort in entering and exiting the gym during workouts. It also emphasized the display of merch and fixtures that reinforced the identity of the Soul brand.

These initial renderings gave the client a clear idea of the direction we were offering as well as demonstrate the positive effect the project would have on their space. It also paves the way to have a candid conversation with the client, so that we can have a deep understanding in terms of scope, budget, and results.

For the fabrication, we decided to collaborate with local carpenter Terry, who owns his own shop Recluse Home. His style has demonstrated a love for the craft, often using different finishing techniques on his building method which lead to interesting variations in results. He was excited to jump on the project with us, and was able to put his own flavor into the details.

Our experience in digital fabrication allowed us to customize the fixtures to incorporate strong brand elements for the client. The design and fabrication process was carefully coordinated between the client and the collaborator, so that we could start on the main build and develop the other ideas in response to the team’s comments.

The design transfer from the digital screen to the built world beautifully. After installation, the space now reflects the personality and culture of the client with trophies and gifts.