American members’ club Chief has set up its first London outpost inside a centuries-old townhouse in Bloomsbury, with cosy interiors conceived by design studio Thirdway.
Established in 2019, Chief has locations in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, where women working in senior leadership roles can connect, learn from industry peers and find ways to drive more women into positions of power.
When it came to designing the club’s first overseas branch, Thirdway was asked to maintain the homely aesthetic established across its US outposts while also speaking to the unique architecture and location of the townhouse.
“We wanted a mix of what felt like Chief but with a London stamp on it, while also being sympathetic to the age of the building and the local London area,” explained Alex Hodson, a senior designer at Thirdway.
The club occupies a Grade I-listed townhouse in Bloomsbury, which Thirdway extended by connecting it to an adjacent four-storey mews house via a glazed walkway, allowing enough space for all of Chief’s amenities.
Members enter via a forest-green reception area that’s anchored by a wooden desk.
Arched panelling fronts the table in a nod to the townhouse’s curved windows, while its fluted detailing references the grooves on the building’s original fireplaces.
Rich hues go on to appear in the club’s other rooms. In the bar, for instance, the drinks counter is clad with glossy, emerald-green tiles. Here, the arch motif also reappears in the form of the storage cabinets holding the bar’s glassware and wine bottles.
Plump teal and mustard-yellow sofas were dotted throughout the sunroom on the lower-ground floor, alongside poufs covered with the same fabric that was used to upholster seats on London’s Piccadilly underground line in the 1990s.
To emulate the look of a traditional English conservatory, a white grid was installed across the ceiling while a number of leafy potted and hanging plants were dotted around the space.
Another events room on site was given a slightly more sophisticated feel with wood-lined walls and vermillion-red velvet seating.
Other women-only members’ clubs in London include Allbright in Mayfair, where the walls are exclusively covered with works by female artists.
All images are courtesy of Peter Ghobrial Photography.
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