By Marina Correa
Photography: Purnesh Dev Nikhanj; courtesy Studio Ardete
Read Time: 2 mins
An array of exciting and assertive elements seeks to turn the Pro Fitness Gymnasium in Kurukshetra, Haryana into a benchmark for future fitness spaces…
Breaking away from stereotypical gym designs, Studio Ardete culls out dramatic ceilings, bold graphics and continuity in patterns and materiality – very unlike a gym - for the sprawling 5,000 sq. ft. space; in sync with fast-changing mindsets and lifestyles in tier 2 cities that reflect a spawning effect from buzzing metropolitan fare.
A subtle colour palette of crème, umber, grey and black anoints the interiors with colour popping out from strong graphic elements; as black mirrors used throughout enhance the volumetric dimensions and depth.
Striking ceilings and continuity of form is seen viz. a white asymmetrical ceiling at the entrance that flows down to form a reception table; a white trapezoidal ceiling over the juice bar again continues whilst transforming into niches for storage. The ceiling also takes on a subtle function of demarcating one area from the other in this largely open plan layout, whilst the beige wooden flooring is practical and unifying.
The base grey/black ceiling surface is layered with wooden battens and white pop-down ceilings (at places), bringing out a powerful juxtaposition of warm and cool tones. A mix of lighting such as pendant lamps, track lights, recessed, spot etc. awash different areas – transforming moods and ambiences.
Further, the upper storey of the two-storey edifice has an enhanced aesthetic in an artistic interplay of ropes fostering an art installation-like effect. The ceiling here features two wooden rafters running parallel in a defined zigzag pattern with ropes crisscrossing at various junctions along their length and also vertically from floor-to-ceiling; effectively binding the floor in one strong, visual language and definitely challenging conventional gym design.
As architects, Badrinath Kaleru and Prerna Aggarwal sum up, “The concept of visual solidarity so essential to the design defines a new language for fitness design, all the while allowing for a balance of idiosyncrasies and conventionalities.”