The super luxury Virgin Active Collection Club, built to meet a four-star Interior Green Building SA rating, opened its doors on 5 November 2016 at the re-generated Silo District in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront. Virgin Active Brand Director Richard Lamb-Hughes, who led the design team in 18 months of meticulous planning, said he had to deliver “relaxed luxury with a Virgin twist that also took advantage of the club’s superb and unique Waterfront surroundings”.He believes the trick was “careful curation and integrating local superstars with select internationally recognised designers and architects to create a tapestry of world class design work”. Both Tonic Design and Design Line were part of the full-time team and local design heavyweights like Gregor Jenkin, James Mudge and John Vogel were enlisted as contributors alongside emerging Cape Town talents like Dark Horse. Lamb-Hughes says the health club’s design was totally informed by its environment. “Being part of an industrial working harbour, we wanted to carefully incorporate this where we could. For example, the concrete reception area is purposefully shaped like a wave breaker and the shoe shine desk is in the form of an anvil which is a bespoke Gregor Jenkin piece.” The spaces for what Lamb-Hughes calls ‘relaxification’ include spa pools, steam rooms and saunas; luxurious his & hers changing rooms; rain, sensation and power showers; a FoxBox Finishing Bar and Groom Den providing men’s and women’s grooming services; a Kohu Café & Wine Bar serving fresh nutrient-rich foods; and a shoeshine service. Lamb-Hughes describes the outcome as “a magical mix of the best workout in a luxurious space that also has a laid-back nature that feels like you want it to be your second home”. The Virgin irreverence is delivered through touches like ‘The Fancy One’ in vinyl signage on the concrete reception wall. Lamb-Hughes says “that’s what some Capetonians nicknamed the place as we were building it and so we thought we would use it as a typically Virgin tongue-in-cheek approach”. Virgin Active Africa MD Ross Faragher-Thomas is excited by the result of the work done by Lamb-Hughes and the entire design team. “We were privileged to have this spectacular space to be working with and through great vision and real dedication to detail, they have delivered a remarkable product which creates an unforgettable new level of health club experience.” Contact: Virgin Active SA
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