Design: Solange Azagury Partridge (interiors), Unlimited (graphics)
Formerly a Post Office sorting room in London’s Earl’s Court, Tabitha Ritchie’s concept for Naked is all about well-being rather than weight, muscle-size or fast and furious peddling.
With a juice-bar, crÃ¨che, and five treatment rooms, it is intended to be a place of relaxation as well as activity.
‘It’s for everyone who’s always been a bit wary of going to the gym,’ says Ritchie, who plans to offer classes such as mother-and-baby yoga and pilates rather than just the customary step exercise classes.
‘It’s trying to get away from the more corporate businesses and make it as colourful, funky and welcoming as can be,’ says Ritchie. With its plans for a comfortable, lush and slightly decadent interior, Naked promises to be a world away from the more run-of-the-mill and worthy work-out sheds.
‘Ritchie didn’t want it to look sterile and clinical,’ says designer and jeweller Solange Azagury Partridge. ‘She wanted it to be very welcoming, cosy and a nice place to hang out. It’ll be energising. A bit exciting.’
The design makes the most of the enormous double-height space by leaving the gabled ceiling exposed in the gym and exercise area, but creating a more intimate atmosphere in the five treatment rooms, which will be have low ceilings and different designs in each, some including luxurious velvet furnishings.
A sense of humour was also important – ad agency Brainchild is planning punchbags with lettering such as boss or mother-in-law, as well as specially-named juices. In a departure from the on-show bikes-in-the-window approach of some fitness centres, Naked users will only be visible relaxing at the Naked Juice bar, which is just about to open, followed in early autumn by the rest of the club.
The graphic identity, by Unlimited, is based on a repeated fig leaf and implemented in environmental graphics as a ‘glamourflage’, according to Brainchild, which transfer across the window.