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Les Mills International
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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

New opening : Living wellness

Kate Cracknell pays a visit to Technogym’s brand new headquarters – the Wellness Village – in Cesena, Italy

By Kate Cracknell | Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 1
We designed the Village to be the healthiest workplace on earth – a corporate wellness prototype that can be exported elsewhere

Many companies talk of corporate wellness initiatives for their employees; few have a wellness philosophy that visibly oozes from every pore of their headquarters. But that’s precisely what has been achieved at the new Technogym Village in Cesena, Italy, which was officially opened in September 2012.

“We wanted to create a place that would inspire the industry about wellness,” says Technogym founder and president Nerio Alessandri. “Wellness is not a concrete product. It’s an experience, and in order to understand it, you need to live it. Wellness is made of design, technology, content, social relations, people. We wanted to create a destination where our customers, our partners and all the industry stakeholders could come and understand our vision by experiencing it for themselves – where we can both listen to and inspire people, and with that contribute to the future of our industry.”

The new development, a long-time dream of Alessandri, creates one single ‘home’ for Technogym, encompassing administration, a large research and innovation centre – the R&D team is 200-strong – the training capacity of the Wellness University, product showrooms, production, warehousing, a large wellness centre and a staff restaurant.

“Over the last 28 years, the company has grown very fast, spreading beyond our original headquarters to new venues. By 2011, our operations were spread across 14 different locations,” says Alessandri. “In creating the Technogym Village, we’ve consolidated all our operations, logistics and management, allowing us to be quicker, more efficient and to reduce costs, meaning more innovative products at more competitive prices.”

Wellness on the go
Walking around the 60,000sq m development, designed by architects Antonio Citterio, Patricia Viel and Partners and set within 150,000sq m of land, there’s an immediate sense of calm, with the buildings very much seeming to belong in their surroundings. The choice of materials used throughout – wood, glass, aluminium – has created a highly sustainable building which, while huge in its footprint, has a sympathetic design that curves gently through the landscaped gardens.

Not only that, but the whole building has also been designed to embrace its environment in the way it operates. In the morning, the sun rises at one side of the Village, and as it tracks over the buildings, sensor-operated windows and blinds automatically respond: windows open where necessary to maintain heat and airflow, while blinds automatically lower if the sun is strong, ensuring light remains at a constant level in the office space. The idea is to create the ideal working environment – in terms of light, temperature, air quality, humidity and so on – by using nature, rather than having to rely heavily on heating or air conditioning.

The wellness philosophy is immediately apparent as you enter the offices – starting with the lack of chairs. Every desk, and most of the meeting rooms, are equipped with fabric Swiss ball-style ‘wellness balls’. These carry a QR code that can be scanned to access suggestions of exercises to do while seated. Meeting rooms have high tables to encourage people to hold meetings standing up.

Meanwhile, pods of equipment from Technogym’s glamorous new consumer range are scattered throughout the office for staff to use, in so-called ‘active zones’. The ethos is one of ‘wellness on the go’ rather than only being about the gym.

Break-out areas in the office are particularly strong on the wellbeing message. Vending encompasses healthy snacks – with the items stocked chosen by staff – as well as coffee, and there are messages on the machines that stay just on the right side of patronising: little reminders of things we all know but don’t always do, such as “Take stretch and exercise breaks at work” and “Start your day with a balanced breakfast”. A couple of pieces of equipment are also placed in each of these zones, the idea being that staff can jump on for five minutes while they chat over a quick cup of coffee.

As former US president Bill Clinton said at the launch of the Village, which he attended as keynote speaker, “the message that you are in control of your own life is at the heart of the Technogym Village”.

The encouraging messages are in fact a theme throughout the Village; the elevator doors are even emblazoned with statements such as “Take the stairs to burn more calories”. But this is nowhere more evident than in the large staff restaurant, which features long counters of beautifully fresh, organic, locally sourced food and where all dishes are low in salt and saturated fat. Here, a number of educational murals on chalkboard-style walls offer healthy living messages: reminders to drink plenty of water, for example. There’s also a large illustration of The Wellness Lifestyle Pyramid, which outlines the different things people can do in their everyday nutrition, movement and mental approach to improve their quality of life.

And this is where the ‘wellness on the go’ theme continues. Every member of staff is entitled to a personalised exercise and nutrition plan, encouraging them to develop healthy habits not only at work, but also at home. The chefs in the restaurant are on-hand to offer dietary advice for specific health conditions. And if the on-site activity options aren’t enough, Technogym has also negotiated preferential rates for its staff at local sporting and medical facilities.

On-site offering
That said – and quite aside from the ‘active zones’ in the offices – the possibilities for getting moving during the working day are impressive. Staff are issued with a brochure of activity choices, including outdoor options: there are running tracks throughout the grounds, also used for activities such as Nordic walking, plus a stretching/exercise platform on the lake and a basketball/volleyball court.

Meanwhile, the entire upper floor
of the Wellness Centre comprises a 5,000sq m gym that’s open to all staff at no cost, as well as to Technogym partners – customers, Technogym University students, and external universities and research centres co-operating on projects with Technogym.

Open from 7.00am–9.30pm, the gym offers the full Technogym range of equipment and is divided into zones: an Arke/Kinesis functional area, circuits, Kinesis stations, resistance, group cycling, stretching, and a section offering medical equipment. There’s also a large CV area that looks out from the mezzanine balcony, over the ground floor consumer showroom, through the floor-to-ceiling windows that comprise the entire curving front wall of the centre, and into the gardens beyond. “People can choose to have a two-hour lunch break to be able to work out,” says Alessandri.

Complementing the gym, the Wellness Centre also offers an on-site medical centre and spa on the ground floor, with services such as physiotherapy, ECGs, VO2 max testing and massage for an additional fee, as well as a hydropool, sauna, steamroom and relaxation area. Meanwhile, the Technogym University hosts educational seminars for staff on wellness-related topics such as sport, health, nutrition and psychology.

Says Alessandri: “We want to be world leader in the design and provision of a wellness solution. But in order to do that, we first need to work in a wellness environment ourselves, putting into practice what we promote: regular exercise, healthy nutrition and a positive mental approach.”

The Technogym Ecosystem
“We designed the Technogym Village to be the healthiest workplace on earth,” continues Alessandri. “We want to create a corporate wellness prototype that can be exported elsewhere, to other companies. By investing in a corporate wellness programme, companies make a long-term investment in a more positive, creative and productive workforce. There’s also a social contribution to the community, because healthy people require less expenditure on healthcare, and live a better, happier life. We see wellness as an economic development opportunity and a social opportunity.”

Alessandri is therefore keen to drive the message of wellness to a broader audience, beyond the corporates. With this in mind, the area around Cesena has been officially rebranded the Wellness Valley – indeed, ‘Wellness Valley’ now appears on road signs, and the concept has been embraced by all local stakeholders, from the authorities to the tourist industry and other local businesses.

“The Wellness Foundation, our non-profit arm, is very active in the Wellness Valley initiative, promoting health and preventative healthcare among the local population,” says Alessandri. “For example, during the summer – in conjunction with the mayor’s office – we provide free wellness classes in the city parks, while our Play Wellness initiative has been launched in schools, educating kids about wellness using a system of structured games.”

It’s all part of Technogym’s new buzzword, ‘ecosystem’ – the notion that everyone must work together towards a larger goal, uniting people, technology and policy to bring wellness into as many lives as possible.

“The Village is the hub from which we plan to spread our strategic vision: the Technogym Ecosystem,” concludes Alessandri. “The infrastructure is ready, and now our focus is on how to leverage the Village to create a worldwide wellness community. We need to look at how to spread the message, generating new content and programmes with a clear goal in mind: taking the fitness industry’s penetration from 10 per cent of the global population to 30 per cent.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Technogym’s brand new headquarters – the Wellness Village – in Cesena, Italy
Technogym’s brand new headquarters – the Wellness Village – in Cesena, Italy
The Wellness Village has been designed to encourage activity, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift. The huge gym doubles as a showroom, while the canteen offers a range of healthy, organic food
The Wellness Village has been designed to encourage activity, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift. The huge gym doubles as a showroom, while the canteen offers a range of healthy, organic food
The Wellness Village has been designed to encourage activity, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift. The huge gym doubles as a showroom, while the canteen offers a range of healthy, organic food
The Wellness Village has been designed to encourage activity, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift. The huge gym doubles as a showroom, while the canteen offers a range of healthy, organic food
The Wellness Village has been designed to encourage activity, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift. The huge gym doubles as a showroom, while the canteen offers a range of healthy, organic food
The Wellness Village has been designed to encourage activity, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift. The huge gym doubles as a showroom, while the canteen offers a range of healthy, organic food
The Wellness Village has been designed to encourage activity, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift. The huge gym doubles as a showroom, while the canteen offers a range of healthy, organic food
The Wellness Village has been designed to encourage activity, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift. The huge gym doubles as a showroom, while the canteen offers a range of healthy, organic food
Technogym’s brand new headquarters
Technogym’s brand new headquarters
Staff can take a two-hour lunch break if they wish to work out
Staff can take a two-hour lunch break if they wish to work out
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2013_1opening.gif
Technogym has opened its brand new headquarters: the Wellness Village in Cesena, Italy. Kate Cracknell pays a visit and finds an exemplary corporate wellness model
Kate Cracknell, Technogym’s brand new headquarters,Technogym’s brand new headquarters – the Wellness Village – in Cesena, Italy
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

features

New opening : Living wellness

Kate Cracknell pays a visit to Technogym’s brand new headquarters – the Wellness Village – in Cesena, Italy

By Kate Cracknell | Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 1
We designed the Village to be the healthiest workplace on earth – a corporate wellness prototype that can be exported elsewhere

Many companies talk of corporate wellness initiatives for their employees; few have a wellness philosophy that visibly oozes from every pore of their headquarters. But that’s precisely what has been achieved at the new Technogym Village in Cesena, Italy, which was officially opened in September 2012.

“We wanted to create a place that would inspire the industry about wellness,” says Technogym founder and president Nerio Alessandri. “Wellness is not a concrete product. It’s an experience, and in order to understand it, you need to live it. Wellness is made of design, technology, content, social relations, people. We wanted to create a destination where our customers, our partners and all the industry stakeholders could come and understand our vision by experiencing it for themselves – where we can both listen to and inspire people, and with that contribute to the future of our industry.”

The new development, a long-time dream of Alessandri, creates one single ‘home’ for Technogym, encompassing administration, a large research and innovation centre – the R&D team is 200-strong – the training capacity of the Wellness University, product showrooms, production, warehousing, a large wellness centre and a staff restaurant.

“Over the last 28 years, the company has grown very fast, spreading beyond our original headquarters to new venues. By 2011, our operations were spread across 14 different locations,” says Alessandri. “In creating the Technogym Village, we’ve consolidated all our operations, logistics and management, allowing us to be quicker, more efficient and to reduce costs, meaning more innovative products at more competitive prices.”

Wellness on the go
Walking around the 60,000sq m development, designed by architects Antonio Citterio, Patricia Viel and Partners and set within 150,000sq m of land, there’s an immediate sense of calm, with the buildings very much seeming to belong in their surroundings. The choice of materials used throughout – wood, glass, aluminium – has created a highly sustainable building which, while huge in its footprint, has a sympathetic design that curves gently through the landscaped gardens.

Not only that, but the whole building has also been designed to embrace its environment in the way it operates. In the morning, the sun rises at one side of the Village, and as it tracks over the buildings, sensor-operated windows and blinds automatically respond: windows open where necessary to maintain heat and airflow, while blinds automatically lower if the sun is strong, ensuring light remains at a constant level in the office space. The idea is to create the ideal working environment – in terms of light, temperature, air quality, humidity and so on – by using nature, rather than having to rely heavily on heating or air conditioning.

The wellness philosophy is immediately apparent as you enter the offices – starting with the lack of chairs. Every desk, and most of the meeting rooms, are equipped with fabric Swiss ball-style ‘wellness balls’. These carry a QR code that can be scanned to access suggestions of exercises to do while seated. Meeting rooms have high tables to encourage people to hold meetings standing up.

Meanwhile, pods of equipment from Technogym’s glamorous new consumer range are scattered throughout the office for staff to use, in so-called ‘active zones’. The ethos is one of ‘wellness on the go’ rather than only being about the gym.

Break-out areas in the office are particularly strong on the wellbeing message. Vending encompasses healthy snacks – with the items stocked chosen by staff – as well as coffee, and there are messages on the machines that stay just on the right side of patronising: little reminders of things we all know but don’t always do, such as “Take stretch and exercise breaks at work” and “Start your day with a balanced breakfast”. A couple of pieces of equipment are also placed in each of these zones, the idea being that staff can jump on for five minutes while they chat over a quick cup of coffee.

As former US president Bill Clinton said at the launch of the Village, which he attended as keynote speaker, “the message that you are in control of your own life is at the heart of the Technogym Village”.

The encouraging messages are in fact a theme throughout the Village; the elevator doors are even emblazoned with statements such as “Take the stairs to burn more calories”. But this is nowhere more evident than in the large staff restaurant, which features long counters of beautifully fresh, organic, locally sourced food and where all dishes are low in salt and saturated fat. Here, a number of educational murals on chalkboard-style walls offer healthy living messages: reminders to drink plenty of water, for example. There’s also a large illustration of The Wellness Lifestyle Pyramid, which outlines the different things people can do in their everyday nutrition, movement and mental approach to improve their quality of life.

And this is where the ‘wellness on the go’ theme continues. Every member of staff is entitled to a personalised exercise and nutrition plan, encouraging them to develop healthy habits not only at work, but also at home. The chefs in the restaurant are on-hand to offer dietary advice for specific health conditions. And if the on-site activity options aren’t enough, Technogym has also negotiated preferential rates for its staff at local sporting and medical facilities.

On-site offering
That said – and quite aside from the ‘active zones’ in the offices – the possibilities for getting moving during the working day are impressive. Staff are issued with a brochure of activity choices, including outdoor options: there are running tracks throughout the grounds, also used for activities such as Nordic walking, plus a stretching/exercise platform on the lake and a basketball/volleyball court.

Meanwhile, the entire upper floor
of the Wellness Centre comprises a 5,000sq m gym that’s open to all staff at no cost, as well as to Technogym partners – customers, Technogym University students, and external universities and research centres co-operating on projects with Technogym.

Open from 7.00am–9.30pm, the gym offers the full Technogym range of equipment and is divided into zones: an Arke/Kinesis functional area, circuits, Kinesis stations, resistance, group cycling, stretching, and a section offering medical equipment. There’s also a large CV area that looks out from the mezzanine balcony, over the ground floor consumer showroom, through the floor-to-ceiling windows that comprise the entire curving front wall of the centre, and into the gardens beyond. “People can choose to have a two-hour lunch break to be able to work out,” says Alessandri.

Complementing the gym, the Wellness Centre also offers an on-site medical centre and spa on the ground floor, with services such as physiotherapy, ECGs, VO2 max testing and massage for an additional fee, as well as a hydropool, sauna, steamroom and relaxation area. Meanwhile, the Technogym University hosts educational seminars for staff on wellness-related topics such as sport, health, nutrition and psychology.

Says Alessandri: “We want to be world leader in the design and provision of a wellness solution. But in order to do that, we first need to work in a wellness environment ourselves, putting into practice what we promote: regular exercise, healthy nutrition and a positive mental approach.”

The Technogym Ecosystem
“We designed the Technogym Village to be the healthiest workplace on earth,” continues Alessandri. “We want to create a corporate wellness prototype that can be exported elsewhere, to other companies. By investing in a corporate wellness programme, companies make a long-term investment in a more positive, creative and productive workforce. There’s also a social contribution to the community, because healthy people require less expenditure on healthcare, and live a better, happier life. We see wellness as an economic development opportunity and a social opportunity.”

Alessandri is therefore keen to drive the message of wellness to a broader audience, beyond the corporates. With this in mind, the area around Cesena has been officially rebranded the Wellness Valley – indeed, ‘Wellness Valley’ now appears on road signs, and the concept has been embraced by all local stakeholders, from the authorities to the tourist industry and other local businesses.

“The Wellness Foundation, our non-profit arm, is very active in the Wellness Valley initiative, promoting health and preventative healthcare among the local population,” says Alessandri. “For example, during the summer – in conjunction with the mayor’s office – we provide free wellness classes in the city parks, while our Play Wellness initiative has been launched in schools, educating kids about wellness using a system of structured games.”

It’s all part of Technogym’s new buzzword, ‘ecosystem’ – the notion that everyone must work together towards a larger goal, uniting people, technology and policy to bring wellness into as many lives as possible.

“The Village is the hub from which we plan to spread our strategic vision: the Technogym Ecosystem,” concludes Alessandri. “The infrastructure is ready, and now our focus is on how to leverage the Village to create a worldwide wellness community. We need to look at how to spread the message, generating new content and programmes with a clear goal in mind: taking the fitness industry’s penetration from 10 per cent of the global population to 30 per cent.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Technogym’s brand new headquarters – the Wellness Village – in Cesena, Italy
Technogym’s brand new headquarters – the Wellness Village – in Cesena, Italy
The Wellness Village has been designed to encourage activity, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift. The huge gym doubles as a showroom, while the canteen offers a range of healthy, organic food
The Wellness Village has been designed to encourage activity, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift. The huge gym doubles as a showroom, while the canteen offers a range of healthy, organic food
The Wellness Village has been designed to encourage activity, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift. The huge gym doubles as a showroom, while the canteen offers a range of healthy, organic food
The Wellness Village has been designed to encourage activity, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift. The huge gym doubles as a showroom, while the canteen offers a range of healthy, organic food
The Wellness Village has been designed to encourage activity, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift. The huge gym doubles as a showroom, while the canteen offers a range of healthy, organic food
The Wellness Village has been designed to encourage activity, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift. The huge gym doubles as a showroom, while the canteen offers a range of healthy, organic food
The Wellness Village has been designed to encourage activity, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift. The huge gym doubles as a showroom, while the canteen offers a range of healthy, organic food
The Wellness Village has been designed to encourage activity, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift. The huge gym doubles as a showroom, while the canteen offers a range of healthy, organic food
Technogym’s brand new headquarters
Technogym’s brand new headquarters
Staff can take a two-hour lunch break if they wish to work out
Staff can take a two-hour lunch break if they wish to work out
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2013_1opening.gif
Technogym has opened its brand new headquarters: the Wellness Village in Cesena, Italy. Kate Cracknell pays a visit and finds an exemplary corporate wellness model
Kate Cracknell, Technogym’s brand new headquarters,Technogym’s brand new headquarters – the Wellness Village – in Cesena, Italy
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Company profiles
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For more than four decades, Keiser has influenced the training of athletes, fitness enthusiasts and ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Magicline GmbH
For more than 30 years, Magicline has been driving the digitalisation of the fitness industry ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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