Gymbox Covent Garden

Creation of a new genre of urban gym in a disused underground cinema. Robustly detailed steel framed decks, hanging aerobic studio.

London WC2


Ben Kelly Design



The creation of a new urban gymnasium space for the Gymbox chain in the shell of the Lumiere, a well-known former cinema. 

The building, which is currently the location of the St Martins Hotel, is a 1960’s reinforced concrete framed building originally used as office space. The unique structural nature of the existing shell was such that the entire building above the basement cinema space is supported on a combination of deep Vierendeel trusses supported by a storey deep plate girder. 

Eckersley O’Callaghan strove to bring Ben Kelly’s powerful spatial ideas to fruition. Geometrically complex new structural insertions are stacked on and hung from the existing structure. New floors for the latest exercise equipment are made as a series of platforms cascading down the former auditorium. Lightweight industrial walkways pass through the space at high level and the DJ booth cantilevers off one of the new floors. 

The main aerobics studio spans 10metres and is supported by steel plate hangers behind a glass wall from the plate girder over, in a visual spectacle echoing the former movie screen. Careful analysis of the structure was needed to ensure that its predicted dynamic behaviour under cyclic dance-induced loading was acceptable. 

Gymbox Covent Garden

42-49 Saint Martin's Lane




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