Hardio is a contemporary multi-faceted cycling studio. It was created as an alternative to traditional gyms polluted with visual noise and bright decorations. The owner of Hardio is a lawyer and a sports fan. He had a dream about a place where he and his friends could cycle indoors in any weather conditions. He also wanted to create a space for practicing yoga and meditation. In the end, he decided to house the two activities – a had workout and meditation – under one roof, and entrusted balbek bureau with the realization of his dream. Hardio is a 600 sq.m place with several different sports zones, massage rooms, and a lounge. It is more than a gym, it is a lifestyle center that attracts people who share the same values. It is a sport hub with its own clothing brand.
Reception area and a café set up the tone and the mood of the venue. The main color of the entire place is light grey; the main materials are cold – concrete, glass, and metal. An interior that could be called ‘ascetic’ suggests none of unnecessary distractions, and helps to say focused. This is an exercise temple that opened its doors to the sports warriors. Two changing rooms for 50 persons each look like they were designed for well-trained soldiers. Rectangular closets of the same light grey color are lined up in a row, massive ventilation pipes are crawling on the ceiling. The corridors with concrete pillars lead to the shower rooms.
The female area has a photo zone with LED lights – warriors still have to post selfies. Next to the café there are several yoga rooms. They are divided by glass walls in metal frame. When you dive deeper into the corridors, you enter more intense zones – for TRX and functional training. They are designed in a darker palette. Rooms like industrial zones with wires hanging from the ceiling, giant tires, a lot of heavy metal equipment. This place is opposite to relaxing. But still, this is just warming up. The most important area is a cycling zone. This is a heart of Hardio sport hub. This place is separated from the corridor with a cube made of matt glass; it brings light in the dark room, this light reflects in the mirrors, playing with the dimensions.
Cycling zone is equipped with the highly technological exercise bikes, which are lined up in front of the giant screen. This 5-meter screen is the third eye of Hardio; a window inside of your body and outside to the world. All the data of your training can be projected from your bicycle to the screen, so you can look inside of yourself and control your performance. But usually, this screen is a kind of panopticon: Instead of staring on a wall you can enjoy roads and different landscapes while training. After a great exercise, you can relax on the brown cozy sofa in the café. The glass partitions, which divide it from the yoga hall, can be folded to create a big space. Sport hub needs room to unite the community of Hardio superheroes: sometimes to discuss the fate of humanity, sometimes to celebrate. balbek bureau tried hard to meet all the expectations of sport warriors, but also provided a possibility to easily reorganize their exercise temple into a dance floor. After the hard workout, everyone needs to have some fun.
Architects: balbek bureau
Lead Architects: Slava Balbek, Anna Kolesnik, Alena Tryhub, Alime Karimova
Photographs: Yevhenii Avramenko