The immensely popular facility is cantilevered over the adjacent subway, acting as a truss to eliminate pressure on the tunnel below.
When Equinox Fitness Clubs wanted to enlarge the old Greenwich Village Movie Theater into a new flagship health club, the issue for design was to express Equinox’ particular contemporary program – a chic, strong, up-scale focus fitness and health center – in a building appropriate for the Greenwich Village Historic District. Local groups called on the Landmarks Preservation Commission for a “classical” building complete with dentils and pilasters and red brick. The building, unanimously approved, instead settled the health club into the neighborhood in a clean glass box tied into its brick neighbors by its own applied buff brick facades. The buff brick complements the variegated corners of the adjacent houses. The proportions of the facade openings reflect the proportions of the houses in the row to which the new building extends, the openings organized to pick up their rhythms and bring them to a climax in two large openings at the building’s corner entrance. Revealed in the openings are the muscle and bone of the building and the clear glass enclosure for the exercising bodies of the members. The glass enclosure floods the interior with light through its windows and its inverted skylight during the day, and gently glows on the street by night.
The facility is immensely popular both for its programs and for its architecture. Even while still in construction, the center managed to attract more than 1,000 new members. The building delivers all these facilities in a volume that is in fact cantilevered over the adjacent subway, the entire building frame acting as a truss to eliminate pressure on the tunnel.