Lapalma Leisure Center Design
Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Scope of services: Interior Design and Landscape Design
Date: June 2019
Client: Mohammad Al Habib Real Estate Co.
Located in the capital city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the La Palma villas is a fully serviced residential gated community with all the facilities and amenities a resident could desire. Offering occupants the opportunity to live in a lush setting, the community comprises a state-of-the-art leisure center complete with a gym and restaurant, as well as lockers, service offices and jacuzzi and sauna areas. The leisure center design also includes a sublime pool with a relaxing, landscaped outdoor area.
Concrete is the chosen medium for this leisure center design, providing a luxurious industrial vibe. Presenting a neutral canvas, the purity of form and beauty of natural concrete is like a blank canvas against which the richness of furniture, artworks and architectural forms stand out.
The main entrance and reception area set the tone for the rest of the center. A large, spacious, double-height foyer greets visitors. Concrete walls and floors offset the plush seating in the waiting area. The warm mahogany leather upholstery reflects the copper tones of the lighting and furniture. A dazzling metal screen partitions this space from the stairwell beyond.
Lighting is used effectively throughout the design to highlight the texture of concrete and add warmth to the interior spaces. Vertical metal rods capped with LED globes are suspended from the double-height ceiling to form a striking modern lighting fixture. The vertical rods pick up on the linear strip lighting embedded into the walls. Copper-toned metal canisters provide additional lighting for the waiting area.
A planted concrete slab provides a lowered ceiling for the lobby to the stairwell. Flush ceiling-mounted spotlights, embedded into the slab in a grid pattern, illuminate the lobby to the staircase. The stairwell is simply designed with light-and-dark-colored textured concrete walls fitted with a cylindrical copper handrail. An LED light mounted to the underside of the handrail gives it a sleek, contemporary look.
Wood and concrete are elegantly combined to form the décor of the men’s gymnasium. Fully equipped with the latest workout equipment, different materials are effectively used to demarcate different zones. Wooden floors and wall panels distinguish the cardio area from the weight machines. Dark concrete walls above the wood paneling in the cardio zone pick up on the dark concrete floor tiles used in the weight lifting zone. Off-white concrete walls brighten the space and prevent the dark concrete from feeling oppressive.
The entire gymnasium is tied together by an open ceiling plan with exposed vents, pipes and shafts. The dark-painted ceiling combined with the concrete texture and high-tech equipment lends the space a futuristic industrial look.
The geometric forms of the custom-designed lighting add to the modern industrial feel. An open metal frame supports a series of concrete cylindrical lights that illuminate the cardio zone. Above the weight machines, LED strip lights are integrated into the metal frame to augment the natural light that filters in through the clerestory windows.
Fringe services, such as lockers and toilets, are located adjacent to the men’s gymnasium. They are accessed though a separate foyer and also house the jacuzzi and saunas.
The copper tones of the lockers add warmth to this area and offset the concrete flooring. A perforated metal screen in the same copper shade forms an interesting ceiling above the lockers. A large, frameless, round mirror reflects the lockers on the opposite wall and leads to the jacuzzi and saunas beyond.
Mosaic, marble and concrete combine to add a touch of glamour to the luxurious jacuzzi, which is elevated. The dark, copper-toned mosaic walls enclose the jacuzzi and frame the marble steps leading up to it. A light-veined marble-clad wall forms a stylish backdrop for the jacuzzi. The color of the veining in the marble picks up on the copper tones of the mosaic.
Luminous LED lighting concealed in the walls and ceilings brighten up the interiors by adding a warm glow to the space.
The luxurious industrial style of the leisure center design carries through to the brightly lit restaurant. Dark concrete wall panels juxtaposed with light wooden slats continue the contrasting theme that is ubiquitous in the design. Dark concrete walls sport wooden display shelves that hold a variety of potted plants.
The double-height space is brightened by natural light that comes in from the wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. This is supplemented by a series of custom-designed light fixtures that add character and personality to this elegant restaurant. Concrete and metal are fused together to create these fixtures, which are suspended from the exposed framed ceiling. The actual light source is hidden; the focus is on the design of the fixture to match the vibe of the interior space.
Matte finishes contrast with highly polished metal surfaces to create visual interest. Polished glass tabletops are supported on concrete bases. The transparent glass draws attention to the heavy base. Polished metal frames for the chairs house solid-colored upholstery to provide comfortable seating. Visitors can choose from among two-seater tables, tables with sofa seating for four persons, bar counter seats or a long central farm table for their seating options.
Visitors can also enjoy a game of billiards at the table located in one corner of the restaurant.
The conference room design is subtle and sophisticated. Round tables for groups of six form the seating in this business room. The furniture comprises wood and metal; round wooden tabletops are supported on perforated metal frames. Chairs are made of wood or wire frames to add a lightness to the furniture.
The walls are dark concrete, and the dark color carries through to the ceiling, drawing the eye upwards and making the room feel large and spacious despite its dark décor. Lightweight, perforated metal boxes are lit from within to provide a network of industrial-style lighting throughout the conference room. Sleek metal rods with luminous LED strips supplement the box lighting.
The designer bathrooms leading off the conference hall are a testimony to the level of detail and thought put into this cohesive leisure center design. Light-colored textured concrete walls enclose a sleek wash basin. A sloping metal counter with a matte finish and a water drain forms the ultra-sleek wash basin design. The color of the metal perfectly matches the chosen shade of concrete, providing a simple, effective and cohesive luxurious bathroom design.
Concealed strip lighting adds to the contemporary look of the bathroom.
The pool-side seating is designed to make guests feel relaxed and at ease. Plush cushions laid on wooden slats form the lounge seating around the pool. These are partially enclosed by “booths” comprising polished metal frames with wooden slat panels. The wooden slats have gaps between them to provide a feeling of openness, while also offering privacy to groups of people. Strip lights embedded into the metal frames provide subtle lighting at night.
Each seating area is shaded from the unforgiving sun by a retractable fabric shade system. These shades can be closed during the hot summers to offer complete shade or be fully or partially opened during cooler months. The retractable awnings add a lightness to the outdoor seating.
Once again, as in the interiors, dark colors are juxtaposed with lighter shades to provide balance and pleasing visual contrast.
The metal enclosures also house seating which is artfully blended with the design. Round concrete bar-height counters are supported on the metal frame of the enclosures. Visitors may also opt to sit on any one of the round tables under the enclosures.
A sprinkling of leafy shrubs is neatly organized among the lounge areas and tables to add a welcome splash of bright green.
An outdoor seating area located between the pool seating and the restaurant can be accessed through the restaurant. Following the same design aesthetic as the pool seating, this area comprises a firepit within an open concrete shell. Built-in concrete seating is furnished with gray cushions to create a futuristic-style seating “pod.”
The same metal-frame enclosures with retractable fabric from the poolside area are also used to shade the seating in this zone. Seating areas are demarcated by wooden deck planks, whereas the circulation areas in between sport gray concrete flooring.
This modern luxury leisure center design is the perfect example of a creative combination of materials, textures and lighting to highlight the contemporary industrial vibe. Concrete is the chosen canvas against which bespoke lighting and furniture are showcased to create a sophisticated, ultra-modern leisure center with the latest amenities.