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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The function-first dictum styles this sports complex!

By Vinita Wagh
Photography: Prashant Bhat; courtesy the architect
Read Time: 2 mins
"airoli sports club shashi prabhu associates indiaartndesign"
Airoli Sports Club (inset) Amol Prabhu, Partner, SPA.

Shashi Prabhu and Associates designs the Airoli Sports Complex in Navi Mumbai, playing on a vertical program..

Complete with a gymnasium, health club, swimming pool and badminton-squash-TT courts, the facility also accommodates restaurants, residential rooms, a banquet and a business centre. Born out of a public-private partnership with CIDCO, the complex takes exception to its more spread-out counterparts.

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Positioned on a relatively square plot, the building features a striking form and a strong angular edge, shaped by setback constraints. The vertical stacking of functions ensures maximum usage of square footage while incorporating a variety of amenities. The bottom-up sequencing also encourages and controls the circulation flow, with public spaces easily accessible, and private ones tucked higher up.

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The badminton hall stands 10m tall, boasting an unsupported, column-free length of 18m. On the other hand, positioning the Half-Olympic sized swimming pool on the lower floors posed a challenge, likely to consume additional FSI, as opposed to other amenities. The solution – the pool intriguingly perches on the terrace! Surrounded by a triple-height terrace deck, it is one of the most inviting features of the project. 

Another exciting element lies in the main restaurant - the ceiling, made of exposed wooden criss-cross slates and the wall, textured with slate stone and lit by chic architectural lighting lends it the true-blue club appeal.

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Finished with a modest material palette of simple plaster, glass, granite and ceramic tile dry cladding, the complex brings into play form and colour without compromising on its sense of function; to derive an alternate sports typology that stems from space efficiency and effortless circulation.


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