High-end operator, Third Space, has opened its sixth full-service club in Islington, London.
The £10m, basement club covers 47,000sq ft and is the largest health club to open in London for more than 10 years.
The property was developed by Cain International, and is located in Islington Square, a £400m mixed-use redevelopment of the former North London Royal Mail centre. The scheme also has 263 new homes ranging in price from £715,000 up to £1.79m, 108 serviced apartments, retail and leisure facilities.
At the heart of the club is a 7,000sq ft “arena space” for flexible training, featuring a custom-built running track, dedicated strength training area and performance cardio area with Myzone heart-rate connectivity.
The club’s bespoke functional training rig was supplied by EXF Fitness and incorporates a boxing bag rail with four bags and monkey bars. As the club is at basement level, a bespoke rig was required due to height limitations.
In the strength area, Pulse Fitness has supplied 15 stations from its H Range Strength Line, with all equipment being created in a bespoke sand black and completed with Third Space branding to reflect the sleek aesthetic of the club. The gym also features the new Wattbike Atom X.
Wet areas include a six-lane, 20m swimming pool as well as a spa with saunas, a whirlpool bath and streamrooms.
In addition, the club houses an indoor cycling amphitheatre – with unique light displays and soundtracks designed for each class. Bikes have been organised in tiered rows to provide every rider a good view, while industrial turbines have been installed to create “headwinds”.
The club’s studios will offer more than 100 group classes a week, while personal training will also be a big focus.
One of the club’s USPs is the hot yoga studio, which is the first in Europe to use infrared-mirrored panels to create a range of temperatures suited to each class.
There’s also a lounge, designed for pre- or post-workouts, where purpose-built ‘quiet rooms’ have been equipped with guided meditation for mind and body and. A medical and nutritional suite will offer customised programmes.
The first Little Space
As well as premium club facilities for adults, Third Space Islington Square incorporates Little Space – a separate, dedicated kids’ club and a new departure for the operator.
Little Space has its own shallow training pool, a mini sports hall, kid’s dance studio, climbing area, athletic rig and restaurant. It offers a range of exercise classes for children, as well as family play sessions and swimming lessons.
Speaking about the concept, Third Space CEO Colin Waggett told HCM: “Little Space is a good example of us looking at each new market and really asking: ‘What do people here really want?’ Before we go forward.
“We did 300 doorstep interviews and focus groups in Islington to make sure our concept was right.
“What we didn’t want was for this to become a family club, mixing the two sides of the offering and possibly ending up with something that wasn’t the best of either world.
“This is why we’ve kept things separate: the Third Space adults experience is entirely unaffected and still best-in-class in terms of offering a grown-up environment, while Little Space is free to specialise in kids’ facilities and programming.”
According to Rob Beale, fitness director for Third Space, the Islington club has its own identity, but the design is in line with the Third Space ethos of “providing the inspiration and motivation to exercise”.
“When designing a new space, we have a very specific vision of how we want a club to look,” he says.
“It needs to have its own unique identity while staying in keeping with the aesthetic of the Third Space family.”