A Vision Brought to Life: The Design and Launch of 34° North

34° North

34° North was founded in October of 2013, fueled by a mission to get people moving and living in the way nature intended — which involves eating well, exercising and working together for the greater good of the community.

“Unfortunately, we’ve reached a time in human history where certain advancements in technology, medicine, agriculture and society have actually created a period of de-evolution rather than evolution,” said Tanner Martty, the founder of 34° North. “People are less physically capable, less engaged and present, sicker, and unable to carry on meaningful personal relationships. We intend to guide our community back to a place of human optimization, health and happiness.”

Martty had a strong vision for 34° North from inception, beginning with the design of the training space, which was previously a tile store located on the same lot as an auto store. Since, Martty has taken ownership of the entire lot.

“We chose the property because we knew we could turn it into a mecca for movement, health and community,” recalled Martty. “It’s equal parts playground, temple, laboratory and community meeting place. When we complete the campus with our regenerative center it will also become a center for natural healing.”

To achieve this goal, Martty worked with Aktiv Solutions’ Planning & Design Division, FitnessDesignGroup. The specialized creative team created schematic designs that would help Martty begin to realize his material vision for the space.

“At 34° North we’ve created a unique movement system that takes inspiration from a variety of disciplines that we’ve studied, from barbell strength training and kettlebells to dance and martial arts,” said Martty. “We had a clear vision of what we wanted to be able to do functionally in the space. FitnessDesignGroup took what we shared with them about our vision and guided us on which materials, equipment and layouts would give us the functionality we wanted, while also honoring the aesthetic we were going for.”

According to Martty, the functional drawings and 3D renderings of the new space were vital to helping see and share the new facility with key stakeholders and clients. “It was very helpful,” he said. “Things can look one way in your head, but until you see it laid out you can’t really understand spacing and proportion.”

After the design of the space was finalized, Martty then worked with Aktiv Solutions to choose equipment that would complement his space and match his fitness philosophy.

“Our training system requires equipment that’s versatile and durable,” he explained. “[Aktiv Solutions] presented us with equipment they thought would fit our training system and when applicable, gave us options with pros and cons of each so we could make informed decisions.”

With Phase 1 of the project complete, Martty is excited to move on to Phase 2 — which involves further developing the wellness mecca in the former auto-space. “I’m most excited about having even more space to train and explore,” he said. “Right now, we’re still only able to do about 70 percent of what we really have planned. Phase 2 will get us closer to realizing the full 34° North system.”

For other operators redesigning or expanding to a new space, Martty advised working with experts like Aktiv Solutions and FitnessDesignGroup to help the vision come to life.

“I’m a gym owner, trainer and teacher,” said Martty. “I’m not a designer or expert on equipment/flooring or procurement specialist. I recommend working with Aktiv Solutions and FitnessDesignGroup for the same reasons that you should hire a trainer when you want to improve your fitness, an accountant when you want to do your taxes, and a lawyer when you have legal issues. Let the professional with the experience guide you so you can realize your vision.”

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