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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Designing for Health: Social Movement and Recreation


Jose Sanchez, Associate Professor. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, DLR Group Mixed Use Design Leader

A growing focus on physical and mental wellbeing has led to more retail mixed-use spaces working towards movement-oriented concepts that promote family and community engagement through social and physical activity. The need is there, but what specific elements will attract and entertain global customers? Diversity is critical to consumer engagement, and the entertainment market has expanded to offer different opportunities to appeal to different groups.

“Retail Entertainment” concept

Malls have transformed the retail experience. sports meeting Extending its concept with an 800,000 square foot five-story multipurpose arena offering a variety of sports, healthy food and beverages, and retail lifestyle options. One cannot replicate the Sport Society experience at home, setting itself apart from the traditional mall concept, promoting discovery and a healthy lifestyle.

The centerpiece of the facility features an NHL-sized ice rink that doubles as a soccer field or event venue. The upper level is used as a walking/running track and houses individual sports, leisure, retail and dining units. The complex also includes a state-of-the-art fitness centre, bowling alley, trampoline park, climbing/bouldering centre, snooker and pool halls, golf and cricket simulators, and a living roof with different fields and pitches.

The exterior architecture borrows design elements from professional sports venues rather than traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores. The exterior, framed in vibrant golden yellow and a dynamic LED façade, showcases unique sports offerings and establishes the location as a landmark destination. Raw materials, often hidden in the concept of traditional shopping centers, are essential to transporting visitors to a place they recognize as a natural urban playground.

Pickle Ball: Real Dill

Pickleball venues are popping up rapidly across the country. Although more niche than the Sport Society, the Real Dill Pickleball Club also combines sport and social experience through a unique connected space centered around pickleball.

The first two clubs will be established in Chesterfield, Missouri, outside St. Louis, and Columbus, Ohio, with further expansion expected in the United States. The 30,000-square-foot Chesterfield will open in summer 2023 and will feature five indoor and two outdoor courts. Dining areas and entertainment areas with indoor and courtyard games create an equally fun experience for the active sports enthusiast and those interested in socializing and relaxing. The club borrows from hotel design to create a social club-like ambiance, incorporating warm woods, earthy tones and rich greenery for an indoor-outdoor feel.

In both mature and growth markets, sports, entertainment and social convergence venues are becoming more important than ever. Facilities like the Sport Society and Real Dill may have a solution for keeping people coming, which is the magic success factor in retail. These mixed-use concepts don’t just keep us busy; they unite people and promote healthy lifestyles and communities.

View Jose’s CV here


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