Coworking behemoth WeWork has opened its first gym, or ‘holistic wellness space’. Called Rise by We, it’s on Lower Manhattan’s Broad Street, in the existing WeWork FiDi, which has nearly 2,500 members.
The interiors for the lower-ground offering are by WeWork’s head of interior design, Brittney Hart, who must have one of the busiest jobs in the industry. The US-based WeWork brand is being rolled out worldwide, and has office buildings in 19 countries.
Hart, who did stints at SHoP Architects and Peter Marino’s firm, is responsible for developing and creating the aesthetics of new all sites. ‘Two years ago, the department was 100 people and all the design was done in New York,’ she says. ‘Now it’s 400 people and regionalised, with design departments in New York, London, Buenos Aires, Bangalore and Shanghai.’
The Flight studio accomodates running and rowing. Courtesy of WeWork. Photography: Kris Tamburello
‘The vision for Rise by We is to help our members feel uplifted, energized, and relaxed, in a space that is welcoming and rooted in community,’ she says. It includes three studios: Flight (which accommodates running and rowing); Fight (kickboxing, boxing and mixed martial arts); and Flow (yoga and meditation), along with a spa, café and shop.
Hart explains, ‘The design team set the building’s pre-existing structural steel and base building components against polished finishes, natural materials (stone, marble and wood), and custom artwork to create a timeless and layered aesthetic.’ The Fight and Flight studios have a raw, industrial feel, with the exposed base building structure complemented by dark colours and utilitarian rubber floors.’
In contrast, the Flow studio has soft lighting, light natural wood wall paneling, wood floors and hanging plants. ‘We are trying to figure out the roll-out strategy,’ she adds.