Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Kalorias Club Montijo in Portugal by Estúdio Amatam
September 11th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Estúdio Amatam
The KALORIAS brand was in a period of rejuvenation. Based on this invigorating impetus, we were proposed the transformation of an old retail store into the new KALORIAS Club unit embed in the new brand concept. It should not be just another gym, however the development of a new image and unique identity able to be replicable in future clubs.
Despite the creative challenge the budget was not proportional to the task, which made increasingly high the level of difficulty of the task upon us. The search for suitable materials at affordable costs, the choice for simple constructive solutions; the prioritization of nuclear areas in order to enhance the identity of the space; and the efficient use of resources were always present concerns. Above all, our design thinking was focus in the assumption that this should be a gym for everyone, young and old, athletes and sedentary, a welcoming and socializing environment, a real club for the family: modern and functional.
In terms of program our approach was defined by the strategic placement of closed volumes with low dimensions inside the open space, connected by huge voids in-between. We aimed to emphasize the spatial fluidity by painting in black (above 3.5 meters) all structural elements in order to dissimulate their physical limits, thus creating the illusion of a wider area. On the other hand, in the new raised volumes was decided to paint them in white achieving a more efficient diffusion of the natural light, which penetrates the existing glazing into the gym interior. In those volumes, the three Studios and the Kids Area were installed. The dressing rooms and technical areas were positioned at the opposite end of the store front, creating a clear distinction between the activity gym space and the private use areas, enhanced by the clear marking of the physical boundaries that define them.
The aesthetics and the materiality of the gym should reflect concepts such as urbanity, energy and diversity – simple but unique. We sought to translate these concepts not only through the space shape, but also through the materials, its colors and textures. Also, as well as responding to the creation of this identity, we always had in mind vectors of more technical nature that guided our choices, related to the specific uses of the different spaces. Since this is a facility for the practice of physical and sporting activities there was a careful choice for durable and impact resistant materials. This results in the application of OSB and Valchromat coverings in the walls more likely to the impact. Always as possible were used concrete blocks, not only to speed up the construction timeline (one of the project constraints), but also due to the rough and rugged appearance that transpires. In the pavement the adopted solution was the application of recycled crumb rubber, whose impact and shock absorption resistance properties are suitable for this type of installation.
In the prime areas, specifically near the Gym entrance, smooth plaster covering convey a simplicity and elegance that contrasts with the occasional use – but carefully chosen – of color and textures in the different surfaces of walls and floors.
The Reception Counter, designed specifically for this gym, follows the spirit of Kalorias brand, and the movable furniture was chosen to be a highlight inside the space, which design embodies the identity of the gym atmosphere.
In the dressing room there was a more daring and experimental attitude, concerning the creation of different environments for distinct genders and users. A specific color study was developed associating distinctive colors for each dressing room, as well as specific ceramics and lockers front panels, with different patterns and metrics. As so, emerges from the combining elements rhythms and contrasts that symbolize the three guiding pillars of the initial concept: urbanity, energy and diversity.
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