Dezeen Magazine

Sports club by Urlo Studio

Urlo Studio completes steel pavilion for Ecuadorian sports club

Urlo Studio has completed an "aesthetic and functional" gym and multi-sport club with a glass and aluminium pavilion with a composite facade in Ecuador.

Known as the Mocolí Sports Club, or Club Deportivo Mocolí, the 8,772-square metre (94,421-square foot) complex is located on Mocolí Island, a small landmass in the Babahayo River in the city of Samborondón on the Pacific coast of Ecuador.

Ecuadorian sports club by Urlo Studio
Urlo Studio designed a gym and multi-sport club in Ecuador

Urlo Studio, which has offices in Quito, Ecuador and Valencia, Spain, completed the sports club in 2022 with an "efficient and sober design, which is aesthetic and functional at the same time".

The complex is composed of a communal athletics house and surrounding sports fields.

Rectilinear sports club
The complex is composed of a communal athletics house and surrounding sports fields

"The main pavilion of the complex is placed in an orthogonal manner, generating strategic visual and functional relationships between the key parts of the program," the team said.

A single-height pavilion rises out from behind dense vegetation with a central patio. Constructed with steel frames on continuous footings, the structure supports a steel deck and lightweight insulated foundation.

Steel framed-pavilion by Urlo Studio
A single-height pavilion was constructed with steel frames

"The white metal structure enhances the lightness of the structure and highlights the rhythmic pattern that is generated on the facade."

Small sconces are mounted on each embedded column, shining light up and down the white structural members and denoting the supporting grid of on-lookers.

Low-slung rectilinear pavilion
Guests enter at the centre of the plan

"This configuration allows the project to blend into its surroundings, while its single height guarantees universal accessibility and reduces its impact on the landscape," the team said.

Guests enter at the centre of the plan where the landscaped courtyard branches off to the entry reception space and covered waiting area.

Long porch
A long porch wraps around the entire plan

The exterior walls are set back from the edge of the building, creating a long porch that wraps around the entire plan with a glossy tile walkway and a wood slat soffit.

On the western half of the linear building is the gym, wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glazing, that looks out to a covered space for yoga to the west and a grassed sporting field to the north.

On the western half of the linear building is the gym

Moving toward the centre of the plan, private locker rooms are concealed behind an opaque pale green facade made out of composite aluminium planes.

To improve the facade's thermal performance, the ventilated facade system has low-emission chamber glass on the transparent sides to reduce the impact of equatorial sunlight."

Similar but not symmetrical, the eastern side of the pavilion is composed of a restaurant, with the kitchen and service spaces wrapped in aluminium and the dining area looking out to the surroundings through the same glazing system.

"Inside, the custom-designed mobile furniture with incorporated vegetation, allows staff to create more private or open spaces for customers depending on the occasion," the team said.

"The sliding doors that open to the pool generate a direct interior-exterior relationship, connecting the restaurant and the covered lounge area."

Semi-Olympic pool with an infinity edge
In line with the western edge of the pavilion is a semi-Olympic pool

In line with the western edge of the pavilion is a pool with an infinity edge that seamlessly transitions from water to a lush landscape. The north side of the pool is shallower to allow for sunbathing and safety for young swimmers.

"The landscaping that surrounds the pool seeks to create a fresh and private environment, providing greater visual intimacy from both the street and the courts," the team noted.

Mocolí Island sports facility
Urlo Studio constructed the project on Mocolí Island

On the north half of the property, a soccer field, a multifunctional court, and two tennis courts are arranged from west to east with covered stands for spectators located on the north side of the soccer field and east side of the courts. The eastern edge of the property holds various equipment for calisthenics.

Recently, Urlo Studio completed a triangular housing complex with rotated floors in Quito. Meanwhile, nearby in Guayaquil, Juan Alberto Andrade added a live-work extension out of rammed earth to multifamily housing.

The photography is by JAG Studio.

Project credits:

General contractor: HeH Constructores
Facade: Acimco (Aluminum composite panel, “Stackbond”)
Landscape design: Clemencia Echaverri, FOLIA Paisajismo
HVAC: Imecanic
Electric and electronic systems: Aelec

More images and plans

Floor plan
Floor plan