Pools, slides and fitness: Water Sports Palace in Luzhniki

Pools, slides and fitness: Water Sports Palace in Luzhniki
Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press service. Maxim Mishin
The sports complex has started operating in a test mode to open later in the year.

In Luzhniki, the Water Sports Palace started operating in a test mode. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin have visited this sports facility.

"There was a Water Sports Palace here before, a dilapidated swimming pool that was out of order. We have decided to replace it with a new state-of-the-art water sports centre, including a professional 50 m pool, with two 25 m ones and a large Aqua Park nearby. In other words, we have everything to offer both professional athletes and amateurs, children and adults. It is a comprehensive project," said Moscow Mayor.

The new pool in Luzhniki will accommodate more visitors than the old one.

"It looks like the old one, but the capacity has been doubled, so more people will be able to attend it and the turnover will grow. This is a gift to Russia and Muscovites," said Sergei Sobyanin.

In fact, it is one of the largest water sports and entertainment complexes in Russia and Eastern Europe. Both Muscovites, and thousands of Russians visiting Moscow will enjoy it.

The Palace is to open after all commissioning works are completed, which is expected later in the year.

The Luzhniki swimming pool (formerly the swimming pool of the Central Lenin Stadium) was built in 1956 by architect Alexander Vlasov. As part of the Olympic complex, it hosted water polo, diving and swimming competitions. The Soviet team won water polo gold medals here during the 1980 Olympics. Over the 60 years, it has seen three World Championships, two European Championships, 11 USSR Championships and many other water sports competitions.

Over time, the pool has ceased to meet the standards of international sports federations. After an inspection, it was decided to upgrade the old building and construct a cutting-edge multi-purpose swimming complex here. The reconstruction started in 2016 according to the design by UNK Project Moscow Bureau and finished this September.

What the renovated Palace looks like

To date, the Water Sports Palace is a five-storey building with one underground level. It covers 51,800 sq m, being 2.6 times bigger than the old pool (19,700 sq m). The swimming complex has retained the key features of the former structure, its style matching other Luzhniki facilities, as requested by Muscovites.

The concept of the Water Sports Palace is based on a modern interpretation of the architectural traditions of the 1950s. The Complex's facade is of sand colour, as well as the building of the Big Sports Arena, with its colonnade recreated. The front and the sides have been decorated with 12 bas-relief replicas of historical panels. Featuring the Soviet romanticism style of the 1950s, they depict competitions in different sports, athletes with cups and laurel wreaths, girls in swimsuits, nude figures looking like ancient statues. The facades are also decorated with a ring pattern to remind of the 1980 Olympics.

Historic bas-reliefs that used to adorn the old building have been preserved, restored and mounted inside the new Water Sports Palace. Today, you may see them on the wall of the central entrance to the pool area.

There has been a lighting concept developed specially for the new complex, with spot lights on significant architectural details. So, now you can see the Olympic rings both on the facades and the lamps, the fences and the fountain. In fact, rings are the key stylistic element.

The Luzhniki swimming centre has a transforming roof overhanging the building as a cylindrical glass passage. It takes just 15 minutes to push the roof sections open. All engineering utilities are carefully hidden inside the building, as the complex presents a spectacular view from Vorobyovy Gory and the metro bridge.

The Palace has three pools: one 10-track 50 m and two 3-track 25 m pools. One of the pools has a lifting bottom for children and people with limited mobility to swim. The total water surface area of all pools makes up 3,100 sq m, which is almost twice more than that of the old pool (2,000 sq m). The complex can accommodate mobile stands for 250 seats.

The swimming pools of the Luzhniki swimming centre meet the Olympic standard of the International Swimming Federation. They are equipped with the most advanced water treatment systems, including 32 filters, as well as ozonizing and UV treatment.

Pools, and something more

In addition, the Water Sports Palace boasts an Aqua Park with three pools and nine long slides totalling 1.3 km. One of the pools will have artificial waves, with two more ones being thermal. They are partially open-air.

Besides, visitors are welcome to attend a Boxing Club, a Gymnastics Centre, a Family Sports Centre and a Surf Centre.

After the Palace is open, adults and children are welcome to visit the rides, unique in Russia:

— Water Town for kids, equipped with safe descent automatic system;

— Master Blaster, a 16.5 m high and 136 m long rafting slide for one or two persons;

— Water Pipe, a complex of four rafting slides of different heights (9.9 to 16.8 m) and length (135 to 175 m), 1 or 2 persons;

— Slide Boarding, a 16.5 m high and 175 m long slide for 1 person;

— Aquasphere, a 16.5 m high and 200 m long rafting slide (3 or 4 persons);

— Poolsider, a 10.5 m high and 88 m long slide for 1 person;

— Loop the Loop, a 10.5 m high and 70 m long slide for 1 person.

The complex also has a swimming pool with a slope to simulate a sea wave. Here you can learn to surf.

There are photo finish systems installed in the Aqua Park slides area. Each visitor can have a memorable photo. Besides, the Water Park has entertainment areas with playgrounds and sandboxes, and food courts on the first and second floors.

There is a transparent wall with a media facade mounted to separate sports and entertainment areas. The digital screen will broadcast competitions and display time, water and air temperature.

Spa and Fitness Centre

The Spa Centre includes several types of steam rooms (Mediterranean baths) and saunas (Tyrolean baths), a children's thermal zone ('warm cinema' and a salt cave), alternating pools, showers, treatment rooms and a recreation area with loungers. You may enjoy the Spa both during your visit to the Aqua Park (package ticket), and separately.

On the fifth floor, you will find the Fitness Centre and a cafe. It has a separate entrance, lobby, changing rooms and showers.

The Water Sports Palace has several entrances, from the luzhniki Stadium and Vorobyovy Gory metro station. , with a through gallery between them.

The surrounding area has been landscaped, with new paths and flower beds, trees, benches and sculptures arranged, in line with the Soviet street design of the mid-20th century.

There is an underground parking lot (43 cars) and a flat parking lot (265 cars) for visitors and employees.

The maximum capacity of the swimming centre is 2,868 people per hour.

Sambo and Boxing centres

During his visit to Luzhniki, Sergei Sobyanin reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the construction of international Sambo and Boxing centres.

In 2020-2022, another unique sports facility is expected to be built on Luzhniki grounds, a seven-storey 44,500 sq m building with one underground level and an underground parking lot for 136 cars. It will house two martial arts centres, the International Sambo Centre and the Boxing Centre.

They will share a roof and a facade, but each centre will have a separate entrance, its own parking lot and so on.

There will be a mirrored acoustic ceiling and stained glass windows in the building. Thanks to the reflection in the inclined stainless steel panels one can even watch the training and competitions running in the martial arts centre from the outside.

This is going to be the first time this architectural solution is applied at a sports facility of this level.

The centres will be training athletes for competitions all year round. They will house gyms, exercise equipment, a swimming pool and a medical and rehabilitation centre, where athletes will get medical and preventive care.

The International Sambo Centre will have:

  • a three-carpet competition hall with stands seating up to 1,300 spectators and a VIP box seating up to 40 persons;
  • a training gym for three 9 m x 9 m tatamis;
  • a 6-track 25x11 m sports and recreation pool;
  • a sauna, a Turkish bath;
  • a medical and rehabilitation centre offering physiotherapy, treatment, massage and diagnostic rooms, and an exercise therapy room;
  • a multi-purpose sports gym with 60 exercisers;
  • 30x18 m multi-purpose gym for game sports (basketball, volleyball, badminton);
  • a 200-seat Conference Hall;
  • administrative premises, rest rooms.

The International Sambo Centre's capacity is 229 people per day.

The Boxing Centre will have:

— a two-ring competition gym with stands seating up to 2,100 spectators, seats for people with disabilities, and a VIP box seating up to 90 persons;

— a three-ring training gym;

— a 6-track 25x11 m sports and recreation pool;

-— a sauna, a Turkish bath;

— medical and rehabilitation centre offering physiotherapy, treatment, massage and diagnostic rooms, and an exercise therapy room;

— multi-purpose sports gym with 60 exercisers;

— 30x18 m multi-purpose gym for game sports (basketball, volleyball, badminton);

— a 200-seat Conference Hall;

The Boxing Centre's capacity is 202 people per day.

The construction design is already underway. Martial arts centres are expected to be constructed in Q2 2020.

New sports facilities in Luzhniki

Apart from the Water Sports Palace and the Sambo and Boxing centres, there are other sports facilities currently under construction in Luzhniki.

Krystall Ice Palace is a three-storey building with one underground level, covering 24,500 sq m. This multi-purpose sports and entertainment complex will have two 61x30 m ice rinks, a 6-track 25x11 m swimming pool, gyms, a choreography hall and recreation facilities. Its capacity is 500 people.

Stands in each arena will have 249 seats. The Ice Palace will house a sporting goods shop, a 150-seat cafe, medical and massage rooms.

The facade will have vertical fins to protect the interior of the building from direct sunlight without making it too dark. Two entrances will have stained glass windows with crystal decor.

Krystall Ice Centre's construction launched in May 2017. In-situ concreting, base construction of the basement, drainage, sewerage and water supply networks' laying have been finished. Roof metalwork installation and heating system laying is to be completed soon. Base construction of the first floor, installation of a facade metalwork and the laying of internal engineering networks are underway now.

The Palace is 50 percent complete. The reconstruction is scheduled to finish in Q2 2020.

Druzhba multi-purpose gym is a three-storey building with one ground level. The facility was constructed in 1979. It covers 16,650 sq m.

In 2016, it was decided to reconstruct and overhaul it. After all works are completed, Druzhba will become a multi-purpose hall for sports events and concerts. It will accommodate up to 3,100 people.

The area of the Central Hall is to be about 2,000 sq m. Also, it will house three 36x18 m multi-purpose halls, a gym, medical and rehabilitation facilities, a Conference Hall, a Press Centre, a cafe, administrative and other premises.

Druzhba will host competitions in eight sports: tennis, volleyball, rhythmic gymnastics, fencing, wrestling, acrobatic rock'n'roll, dancesport and futsal.

Druzhba's overhaul started last January. Dismantling works, erection of walls and partitions adjacent to cast-in-situ constructions have been completed.

The builders have finished the stairs, elevator shafts, floor slabs, reinforced concrete structures of external stairs, strengthened the internal structure of the building. Metal substructures of external stained-glass windows are almost completed. Roofing and facade structure mounting are underway.

The facility is 25 percent complete. The reconstruction is scheduled to finish in Q2 2020.

The Tennis Club is another facility under construction in Luzhniki. It will cover 36,000 sq m. There will be 26 tennis courts, with 15 courts roofed, 7 open courts and 4 squash, ping-pong and paddle and beach tennis grounds.

It will also have a multi-purpose sports gym, a fitness centre with a swimming pool and a sauna, children's and recreational centres, food courts. The tennis club will accommodate 15,000 visitors.

Construction of the Tennis Club started last February. Foundation works have been completed, with works on construction of engineering networks being underway. Vertical load-bearing structures are being constructed, too.

The facility is 19 percent complete. The reconstruction is to finish in Q4 2020.