- Sky Club House, gym in Dongguan City by DOMANI Design
Rather than a gym, you could call the project in Dongguan City by a Chinese firm, DOMANI Design as a temple of fitness. Dongguan is an industrial city in the Pearl River Delta, province of Guangdong with about 8.34 million inhabitants, 75% of whom are economic immigrant workers from the country areas. Suffice it to say that one in five smartphones in the world are made in Dongguan City, known for being to the forefront not only in technological developments but also in architecture.
The Sky Club House is located in an expanding urban area owned by the developer Time Property; standing amidst skyscrapers, it seeks to leave a mark in the urban context: an ode to serenity, to elegant minimalism, to tranquillity in a high-density environment. That's why in Dongguan City we are far from the traditional image of treadmills and other exercise machines in what might be a fluo-pop or a kind of post-industrial style at the most, without any attempt at really making users feel welcome. On the contrary, some gyms give you the idea that their only purpose is to streamline physical exercise without lingering on the concept of beauty.
Ann Yu, the creative director of DOMANI Design decided to think outside the box, with the skin of this 1500-square-metre club building providing a soothing sensibility normally reserved for modernist museums. She did this by cladding it with white-grey textured concrete tiles and adding black, geometric swimming pool features on the outside to mirror the surroundings and give this play of reflections a highly unusual allure.
Most of the interior walls are panelled in wood as a counterpoint to the concrete and marble, also used in the rooms, particularly in the reception lobby whose dramatic space makes it feel like a luxury hotel. The warm timber on the walls softens the minimalist, austere impact of the fitness rooms to spread a good feeling, also created by the intelligent use of natural light that floods the interiors through the large windows, creating a delightful play of light and shadows.
Glass furniture and thin black light fixtures stand out throughout as a welcome addition to the interior design.
Sky Club House by DOMANI Design for Time Property is a gym that is more than just a place to burn off calories. And it's all done with a touch of beauty and elegance that makes it look more like a minimalist temple than a gym, an oasis, albeit for the few, rather than the many, in the frenetic life of this Chinese megacity.
Location: Guang Dong Province, China
Client: Times Property
Architectural Design: Ann Yu | DOMANI
Interior Design: Ann Yu | DOMANI
Installation & Exhibition: Ann & Vincent
Cooperative Design: Leo Huang | DOMANI