West Wood lights the way with Immersive Fitness
West Wood rolls out Les Mills The Trip™
Leading the charge in the quest for the ultimate exhilarating GroupX experience, while delivering maximum member engagement and satisfaction, the West Wood group of premium health and fitness clubs has broken Irish industry ranks and unleashed the inaugural Les Mills The Trip™ immersive studio cycling experience on the people of Dublin, Ireland. With a clear group fitness investment strategy and three new sites under their belt, West Wood have taken a “go big or go home” approach to GroupX across their Dublin estate, which is why The Trip™ - an extreme physical and sensory group cycle workout that transports riders through virtual landscapes and across incredible new dimensions – was top of West Wood’s latest Les Mills GroupX wish list.
The Trip is Les Mills’ most cutting-edge group exercise format, with essential proprietary hardware specifications that include a curved cinema-spec screen and multiple projectors to ensure that riders’ vision is completely fixated and engrossed by the Les Mills immersive video content. West Wood approached Hutchison-t with the Les Mills brief, giant premium facilities, and giant premium ideas to boot - a match made in immersive heaven, since making the most innovative and challenging immersive fitness applications doable is exactly our kind of thing. Together, we translated West Wood’s dream of the biggest and best immersive fitness studios into audio, visual, and lighting reality across five of their Dublin sites, pushing each studio to its own innovation edge and the limit of its potential. This meant the end-to-end design and installation of five fully unique studios, each optimised for live instructor-led immersive classes and instructorless virtual sessions as well.
What we did
At West Wood Sandymount, we introduced an RGBW spotlight feature that would be rolled out across each of the subsequent sites. Each independently controllable spotlight was positioned equidistantly along the top rim of the immersive screen to produce an original coloured light effect cascading down the full length of the screen. This provides instructors with a spectacular backdrop for live non-immersive classes, while the outermost spotlights can also be used as infills for a full-screen effect when the studio is being used for standard Les Mills Virtual video content. Spotlights illuminating the studio entrance and tiered independently controllable analogue RGBW strip lights on the studio’s raised bike platforms are a functional safety enhancement in the darkened studio which also reinforce the dramatic cinematic effect, prepping riders for an extraordinary experience as soon as they enter the room. With seven varying-length overhead digital RGB strips ready to sweep coloured light over riders’ heads as they hurtle through The Trip’s digital landscapes, class-goers won’t be disappointed.
At West Wood Dun Laoghaire, full-length overhead digital RGB strips and high output linear perimeter baton wash fixtures were used to encase the studio in motivational, kinetic light. Meanwhile, standalone subwoofers were recessed into custom-built alcoves located at each side of the curved screen. We accentuated these alcoves with digital RGB strips to create an audio-linked Graphic EQ feature light effect, producing a fantastically integrated overall studio AV design.
At West Wood Clontarf, the subwoofers and light feature were inlayed into a false curved wall extending from either side of the curved immersive screen; and the studio was crowned with a fanned ceiling light installation using digital RGB lighting – a high-grade, high resolution, flexible LED tape with individually controllable LEDs to up the Graphic EQ effect - for a stunningly cohesive, surround-scope immersive visual experience from the ceiling to the floor.
We used the same high quality, high res tape at Aston Quay, where we also installed a highly functional, highly aesthetic T-bar baton wash fixture feature that can illuminate one
or two of West Wood’s star instructors with a spotlight wash effect. Like the previous three sites, Aston Quay was fitted with two advanced Panasonic Laser Light Source projectors using Panasonic’s advanced colour-matching and edge-blending technology to deliver Les Mills’ intense motion graphics in rich, immersive colours. But the biggest of West Wood’s studios called for the biggest projector solution. At Westmanstown, we ramped it up a notch with a third projector for the enormous movie-spec screen, and installed Digital RGB strips in a forward-motion arrow design that extended from the ceiling down the perimeter walls to create a truly mind-bending futuristic tunnel effect and complete peripheral visual engagement.
With each of the five sites kitted out with full pro audio, projection, and lighting systems, intuitive control capability was essential to ensure a smooth immersive experience for members and instructors alike. To facilitate this, we supplied each studio with our proprietary Control-AV and Auto-AV technology. Control-AV provides an exceptionally simplified way for instructors to control the whole AV suite in real-time using a simple iPad GUI for live classes. And, since West Wood have cleverly optimised their studios for standard virtual content usage outside of immersive slots, Auto-AV means entire virtual classes and AV sequences can be pre-programmed in advance to activate and run themselves. Special mention here to our lighting programme designers, who coalesce each and every pixel in every single lighting fixture into a series of spectacular lightshows that instructors just have to select!
Hutchison-t’s tech solutions and the exceptional immersive concept and content developed by Les Mills have made the immersive fitness experiences at West Wood possible, but without West Wood’s own outstanding progressivism, vision, and commitment to GroupX evolution, the projects could never have been implemented to such amazing scale and effect. West Wood Clubs continue to live up to their stellar reputation as Dublin’s foremost provider of cutting-edge group exercise experiences.