“We’re revolutionising cycling workouts and wanted London to be the first city to discover our fully immersive experience. When it came to designing the perfect studio environment, we’ve gone for something radical. Riders will be working out in a darkened room, their senses heightened and focused on the task,” says celebrity fitness trainer Mark Anthony, FirstLight’s creator.
He has teamed up with leisure, design and build specialist Createability to create the world’s first sunlight simulation-based indoor cycling experience at Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush, London. (Createability was also the development partner on Anthony’s previous health club concept, Rush Fitness, which he sold in 2017 to fund the new £1.75m venture).
Createability’s commercial director, Brian Thompson believes they have constructed the best, high-end boutique club in London. “It’s so unique with all its bespoke finishes, from the anaconda speakers built into the curved steps of the amphitheatre-style studio to the bright yellow caged stairway that starts the customer experience,” he says.
Thompson explains the difficulties of building within a live retail mall, with tight security, limited access and no mains services. “We weren’t allowed to attach FirstLight’s walls to Westfield’s walls, so we built three independent acoustic boxes for the studios, each soundproof to 105 decibels - louder than a jackhammer!”
Everything, including the site office, had to be contained within the 9,000sq ft of the club and moved each time work started on a new area.
Security was understandably tight, with 15 minute drop off slots, which made the logistics of managing the build complex.
Interior design by Zynk combining creativity with commercial sense
Boutique gym design specialist Zynk created an interior that delivered a brand personality to match the innovation of the exercise experience, with careful consideration given to the commercial requirements of the business.
Working with the brand’s core concepts and colour scheme, Zynk developed a complimentary colour palette consisting of yellow and storm grey tones, which is offset with a black and white backdrop. Together, these hues successfully translate across a mixture of materials including concrete, timber and mesh, adding a lux overtone to an industrial theme.
Zynk also designed an impressive 20ft entrance which immediately shows the brand’s identity. Members ascend a striking staircase that has been designed with a mesh tunnel, before arriving at the reception area.
Concepts are soon to be unveiled for FirstLight’s second studio, while Studio Three will feature live streamed classes when it opens in January 2019.