The first of its kind in London, this boutique fitness club is set in a prominent location at the heritage corner of St. James’s Street and King Street. Woods Bagot’s London studio worked alongside American luxury fitness company Equinox and local interior designer Joyce Wang Studio to execute the transformation of the former bank building into a unique architectural consideration that the British newspaper, The Telegraph, calls “the UK’s swankiest gym.”
With the exception of branding, external alterations were kept to a minimum to maintain the building’s historical appearance apropos to the St. James’s Conservation Area. However, the interiors were artistically modified both for functional as well as structural requirements.
Club members are immersed in a world of wellness where they can exercise, eat, relax, and shop. Formerly operating as a bank, the interiors now hold modern and industrial materials such as black perforated metal, stained oak timber, marble, fluted glass, and large copper accents framing the doorways. The most striking of interior interventions are the mezzanine stairs and balustrade with a double curved bulkhead. The balustrade wraps around the entire staircase and mezzanine while the curved, backlit bulkhead sweeps underneath and connects to the ceiling. The effect allows indirect lighting into the strength training area below.
Equinox’s specialty spaces were integrated throughout the mezzanine level and new basement configuration. These include heightened public and private training spaces, membership consultation offices, dining, laundry valet services, treatment, and steam rooms, saunas, and the club’s first-ever dedicated ‘regen’ room—an exclusive space where members rejuvenate with cutting-edge spa therapies.
The façade received new louvres on the basement level for mechanical ventilation as well as on the James and King Street elevations. Additionally, the team added a lively garden area to the rooftop.