Wellness without Limits

Wellness without Limits


4a Architekten create an oasis of relaxation inside an already existing residential high-rise in the outskirts of Moscow.

Outside of Moscow, in the middle of an idyllic forested residential area near Lesopark Pokrovskoye-Glebovo, you will find Else-Club. Stuttgart-based 4a Architekten have integrated this spa and gym in the two lower floors of Alissa residential high-rise.

The building is owned by the company Krost, one of Moscow’s largest building companies. Due to security issues, street-level apartments are very hard to rent out or to sell. This is why the management thought of turning those floors into semi-public usage. Since exclusivity is very sought-after in Moscow, the choice was made in favor of erecting an exquisite wellness club.

The Else Club part of the building is pushed vertically through the high-rise. As a base, the two bottom floors stand out completely from the architectural language of the remaining, classic façade. 4a Architekten deliberately chose this shape to separate the new part from the old one in terms of content and also regarding style. This stylistic cut is also emphasized by the fully glazing of the Eastern and Western façade. The glazing is also used to create a reference to the outside and to enable a generous view across the park-like, heavy green landscape. Due to the projected, folded framing of the top floors, Else Club stands out from the rest of the building. The facing with silver metal sheet panels increases this effect even more. What’s characteristic about the façade of Else Club are the rotatable lamellae in various, deep shades of green, spanning across the whole second floor.

Relaxing in Rooms interweaving with each other

A generous stair leads the visitor from the outside into the impressive entrance hall on the upper floor. From here, you reach all areas of the wellness club: the restaurant, the wellness oasis and the gym.

The heart of Else Club are the spa and the wellness area. The center-point is the relaxation room, which is located in the middle of a water basin. Via stairs built into the water the visitor can reach the relaxation as well as the treatment rooms. The latter are located behind a fully glazed façade. When entering the rooms, the green lamellae close automatically and thus create an intimate atmosphere. The lamellae work as a kind of green filter towards the outside. A free-standing stair leads the visitor further into the swimming area on the first floor. Here, swimming and attraction pools along with a hot water Jacuzzi bath can be found to satisfy any needs.

The sauna ensemble can be reached via a bridge spanning the swimming pools. Various saunas, hot steam baths and adventure showers invite the visitor to relax. The wood-faced walls and indirectly lit niches create a particularly pleasant atmosphere. Last, but not least, Else Club provides a generous, open gym featuring a view into free nature.

Architecture as a spatial Sculpture

The peculiarity of Else Club are the flowing rooms which don’t seem to have any limits. The individual functions of galleries, air spaces and free stairs are interwoven with each other. Separating walls have been detached from the ceiling with skylights where ever possible, resulting in the characteristic room feeling.

Project details


4a Architekten


Opening: 2007



GFA: 4,250 m²


Principal: Krost Industrial & Building Company


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