Prime Fitness & Beauty: The Difference Is in the Details

"Are there fitness clubs like this in the United States?" So asked Francesco Iezzoni through an interpreter this morning as we toured the nearly two-year-old location of Prime, in a mall development outside Castel Maggiore (the club's other location is in the center of nearby Bologna). Yes, high-end clubs such as this exist, with many of the same components. But few U.S. clubs exhibit the aesthetic styling on display here in details large and small. Eschewing the elevator, we climbed two staircases to the entry lobby and immediately got a hint of the club's layout through the length of glass inset into the resin lobby floor, which crosses in front of the welcome desk and intersects one of the sales offices. Both the blue light in the floor cutout and its narrow view into the pool space were motifs duplicated in other areas of the club, from the vertical mirrored strips in the wall of the group exercise room to the orange lighting emanating from the side panels of "end tables" separating pieces of cardio equipment in the fitness area.

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