Stiff spin in Sloane Square

Architect organises spin class at new gym

Stiff spin in Sloane Square

Architect Stiff+Trevillion invited property friends and clients to a spin session at the new and rather plush pay-as-you-go KXU gym just off London's Sloane Square last week (1 March).

With just a week to go before the start of the Legal and General Cycle to MIPIM, this was a welcome opportunity for some riders to get in late indoor training as the weather deteriorated during early March.

The gym is located on the rear of 131 Sloane Street, a two-block scheme including five floors of offices above ground-floor retail, designed by Stiff+Trevillion for The Cadogan Estate and completed in 2016.

The gym on Pavilion Road is part of a landscaped and pedestrianised parade of independent stores that replaced servicing yards, behind the high end luxury brands such as Cartier on Sloane Street. This aspect of the scheme was completed about a year ago. "For the new shops at the back, the estate went to residents and asked what they want," said Stiff + Trevillion director Dan Campbell. "They asked for butchers, bakers, wine shop, cheese and a gym and so on, so that's what they put in and it's been really successful."

"Because we knew one of the backers behind KXU we got involved in fitting this out and we thought this was a nice opportunity to get a few people here and get them fit before they set off for MIPIM. It all helps."

A spin class at 8am is not how Emily Ahlers, senior structural engineer at Elliott Wood, usually starts her working day. "This is different from my normal Friday because I am about to sweat profusely in front of people who I want to professionally respect me," she told Velocity.

A dark room, loud music, stifling atmosphere, extreme effort, lots of shouting... the attraction of spin classes can be obscure. Wouldn't a bike ride be preferable? "I spin most days and Friday is normally a bit of a day off, but this is a full-on wake-up call. It gets you fresh," said Mark Hampson, partner at building consultant Malcolm Hollis. "I tend to go in the evenings and it pushes all the bad bits of the day out. It's a really quick way of getting some exercise in with other people."

For David Happle and Niall Aitken, partners at construction cost advisor Exigere, the session was, unusually, "a soft version of a normal Friday".

"Normally Friday is for a partner's meeting in our office, where we're all having a right old wrestle with each other about what we're doing with the business," Aitken said.