iSpy Chris Levine at Soho House
Twenty-three years after Soho House began cultivating its ‘community with creative soul’ in a historic Georgian townhouse on Greek Street, the brand has expanded to include a Midland Bank building in London’s City that houses The Ned emporium, a sprawling warehouse in New York’s Meatpacking District, a 19th-century palazzo in Istanbul; and now (fittingly for a brand that steaks its reputation as being the stamping ground for the media-world) the BBC’s old headquarters at the Helios building in White City.
Once home to shows like Top of the Pops & Blue Peter the iconic doughnut-shaped site holds a special place in the heart of the nation; and based on the shape of a question mark-shaped block that architect Graham Dawbarn sketched on the back of an envelope in a pub – it’s story also mirrors the heart of the Soho House philosophy.
With the members club occupying the 8th, 9th and 10th (top) floors of the new-build that adjoins the original Grade II-listed structure, period film and television (think Mad Men and 60’s Bond) provided a point of departure for its design, and the pop-culture heritage of the property is referenced throughout the interior with subtle mid-century design and a cleverly curated collection of art.
Careful to avoid morphing the space into what could have quite easily been an all-too-obvious movie set, each reference is beautifully adroit, bespoke furniture and fabrics were commissioned by Tibor whose modernist textiles contributed to the BBC in the sixties and the bas relief panelling takes on Tardis-like traits, while extraordinary light-art-works by Chris Levine take on the iconic Playschool windows and enliven the main club floor.
Just five years after the cameras stopped rolling, and the broadcasters left the building the Helios is back on the radar as a mecca for those in the creative or media industries - and with a chic rooftop pool, delcious dim sum restaurant, 45 luxuriously appointed bedrooms, the Soho House group's biggest ever gym, basement cinema and even a Cowshed spa - we couldn't be more excited!