Design: Bennett Design Group (Houston)
At 700m2, the new Presidents Club is more than double the size and capacity of the previous lounge. It has a good location on the fifth floor of the new extension to Gatwick South Terminal, with wide views over the runway from every point in the lounge. Houston-based interior designer Belinda Bennett worked with architects Woods Hardwick on the design solution.
The airline works on the ‘McDonalds’ line of thinking, with each of its 25 or so Presidents Clubs around the world based on a standard interiors package with the same, or similar upholstery and graphic elements. ‘We don’t adapt them to the country they’re in,’ says Bennett. ‘The concept is to have Presidents Club members feel comfortable and familiar with their surroundings wherever they happen to be.
‘The demographics may be changing slightly,’ adds Bennett, ‘but the majority of our customers are older adult males travelling for business purposes.’ The lounge is therefore traditional, masculine and professional in atmosphere. The lobby has a granite floor design, and the main lounge area features a grey carpet with an organic pattern. The walls are lined with cherrywood with an ebony trim, and the neutral, buff-coloured chairs and deep-blue sofa seating are by Bernhardt.
There are no spa-like amenities, except for showers, but the level of technology is high, with electrical and dataports catering for both UK and US equipment without the need for an adaptor. There is a conference room with a speaker-phone and VCR and 15 workstations in the lounge, though, ‘We find many people like to download e-mails and conduct business in the lounge setting with people around them, rather than at a desk,’ says Bennett.
There are also electrical outlets in the lockers provided, so travellers can recharge their laptops without the need to ‘babysit’ them.
see also “DW200012010053”