Indian architecture studio think outside the box for 'whimsical' fitness centre and spa

by Kim Megson | 31 Mar 2016

Indian architects Studio Ardete have attempted to “define a new language for exercise and training centres” with a "whimsical" gym, spa and indoor cycling studio called Moksha.

The practice were commissioned to extend an existing gym in the Indian district Panchkula by creating the new facilities in the building’s 2,000sq ft (186sq m) basement. The limited space and a restricted budget forced the architects to look beyond traditional gyms for inspiration.

“Moksha is not the typical fitness centre one may come across on a daily basis; it’s a study of what fitness design ought to be,” said the architects in a statement. “The space, to be used by young men and women in a competitive environment, needed to translate the energy of its occupants into the design.”

To create a “contemporary, yet rugged” look, used bicycles and treated wooden branches have been suspended from the ceilings throughout the centre. Free standing triangular metal frames, crisscrossed with ropes, provide another aesthetic element, and, along with colourful murals and posters, serve to “break the monotony of subtle, subdued interiors familiar in most gyms.” Glass partitions separate the studios while providing glimpses of the activities inside.

The basement’s main passage acts as the central axis of the extension, with an indoor cycling studio and a multi-purpose hall arranged on either side. The spa, massage rooms and locker rooms, with international style interiors, are located at the end of the passage, with a small café space and reception area to welcome visitors.

“There is a visual connectivity knitting the whole space together,” said the studio. “The project demanded the use of various unconventional ideas to make it more fluid and flexible. As a result, the materials and features used reflect this.

“Sometimes the difference between a good and a great design is something as simple as a the provision of a symbol, like the bicycles, branches and frames we’ve used. It is a way to provide the design with something intangible that makes a strong impact on the psyche of the visitor.”

The project cost 4m Rupees (US$60,000, €53,200, £42,000) and is now open to members.

The new issue of CLADmag, which can be read online, on Digital Turning Pages and as a text PDF download, explores the world of innovative and beautiful gym design, with a selection of some of the most exciting of these projects from around the world.

Indian architecture  design  gym design  Moksha  spa  Studio Ardete 
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Indian architects Studio Ardete have attempted to “define a new language for exercise and training centres” with a "whimsical" gym, spa and indoor cycling studio called Moksha. The practice were commissioned to extend an existing gym in the Indian district Panchkula by creating the new facilities in the building’s 2,000sq ft (186sq m) basement. The limited space and a restricted budget forced the architects to look beyond traditional gyms for
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The basement’s main passage acts as the central axis of the extension, with the spinning studio and a multipurpose hall arranged on either side / Studio Ardete
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