Building the view, building the body

Almaty is the largest city in Kazakhstan with a population of 1,185,900 (2004) (8% of the population of Kazakhstan) citizens. In 1929, Almaty had became the capital of the Kazakh SSR; then in 1991, it was the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan until 1998, when the capital was moved to Astana. Almaty, however, remains the largest city in Kazakhstan and the country's major commercial center. Owing to its successful energy sector, economic reforms, good harvests, and foreign investment, the growth rate doubled in 2000’s. Substantial shifting of assets into the private sector resulted in many new investments. Align with its changing conjuncture; the social life of city is transforming; the fitness center is one of the pioneering examples with its architectural approach supporting the contemporary demands.

At the end or the beginning of a workday, the gym is not usually the first place anyone prefers to go; it must be challenging, so the architecture should add creating a new concept. Beside the technological infrastructure and health services, gym experience is driven by space, scale, light, and color. The architectural concept should initiate a venue that’s also socially desirable.

Incorporating the human movement into architecture has been the main idea of the WCFC. Separate blocks and sections for divers functions assembled in a rational manner resulted in an integrated system. The re-united forms establish the harmony of the lavish multilevel gym complex. Boxes at different sizes neatly cluster to form the dynamic masses of the translucent complex.

The scale is big but elegant and simple; the building is a combination of cast concrete, steel and glass. It has a frontage on the Boulevard and extended back housing the swimming pool. The structure has two levels; the backside opens to a planted zone and an open pool at ground level. Car-park entrance is from the boulevard side; there is 2-storey underground parking below the whole building. Storage and mechanical facilities are also placed below ground.

The fitness center is a semi-transparent building with an imposing façade whose structural form derived from the idea of being an extension of city life and being noticeable. The entrance lobby is planted as a continuance of the trees on the street. Reaching the lobby by climbing up a smoothly designed ramp, the indoors pool creates an oasis effect together with the other green arrangements. Reception and administration offices are located in colored glass-boxes right after the entrance. The main training hall is situated at the second floor that resembles a floating box above the main entrance, dramatically sticking out on the front façade and creating a natural portico on the boulevard side. Due to the inclination, the transparent studio stays above the eye level so the passerby of the boulevard can only catch the color and movement inside the building whereas, owing to complete glass front, the gym users can view the boulevard and the environ while training. 

Several training studios, such as kids club, VIP or private rooms are located mainly on the top floor of the back block, which is brute concrete and split in 3 stories. The indoor swimming pools are at the entrance / ground level where also changing rooms, jakuzi and vitamin bar is housed.

In the complex a community atmosphere is created which strengthens club loyalty.

The ambiance is heart beating before you step on the treadmill.

Site Area: 6.205 m
Construction Area: 12.000 m
2006 / almaty