Ben Kelly Design freshens up Gymbox

Ben Kelly Design has created the interior concept for Gymbox, a members’ gym opening in the former Lumiere art house cinema adjacent to St Martins Lane Hotel in London.

The 2300m2 venue is housed beneath the hotel, which features interiors designed by Phillipe Starck.

Hotel customers will have access to the gym, so the design had to segue with the Starck-inspired environment, explains Gymbox managing director Richard Hilton.

‘We describe Gymbox as urban chic, but as the new site is part of St Martins Lane Hotel, we’ve had to up the ante a bit. It’s more chic than urban. Hotel guests must feel it’s part of the hotel,’ explains Hilton.

Ben Kelly Design associate Patrick McKinney led the project for the consultancy. Hilton also brought in lighting consultancy Light & Design Associates to create the gym’s environmental lighting system, including semi-translucent walkways illuminated with ‘shards’ of light from beneath.

The Covent Garden site is the second outlet for the company, which opened its original club in 2003 in London’s Holborn, also designed by Ben Kelly Design (DW 20 February 2003).

According to Hilton, the challenge was to adapt the original Holborn blueprint to sit comfortably with the hotel site.

Changing rooms connect Gymbox with the hotel, so are the crucial area for customers moving between environments, says Hilton. The changing room design uses glass-fronted lockers and benches, with ‘rainforest’ showers.

Recreating the year-long run of the first film to be shown at the Lumiere cinema in 1967 – Thoroughly Modern Millie – Gymbox is to use the original auditorium to screen the film for another year, following the launch of the venue this week.

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