The newly renovated, former Grade II Listed gymnasium was designed by London-born architect, Edward Gruning, in 1865. As the first purpose-built gym in England, it was incredibly influential in the development of athletics in Britain, and hosted the first-ever indoor events of the 1866 Olympic Games.
150 years on, this historical establishment is opening with a brand new 447-cover complex, comprising a ground floor cafe, an outdoor terrace, a restaurant, bars and private dining spaces.
The interior of the building, which is located between King’s Cross and St Pancras International, has been designed by Conran and Partners, and will make use of the building’s key original features to create a space evocative of the structure’s heritage.
The interior decor will be a contemporary take on the grand cafes and brasseries of Central Europe. Influenced by the building’s original purpose, playful gymnasium details will filter through the overall design.
Gold mesh screens inspired by Victorian detailing and fencing masks will feature, while original fixtures such as climbing hooks will be retained in the ceiling of this impressive triple height space.
The open pass and windows overlooking the street will invite commuters and diners to view the grand main kitchen, completely rendered in black, above which sits a separate kitchen serving the upper dining area, with a dramatic double-height mirrored glass façade.
Meanwhile, the dining areas will combine one of Kings Cross’ largest al fresco terraces, a patisserie counter, an all-day grand café serving breakfast through to dinner, a first-floor restaurant and the Meister Bar, open until 1am.
“While developing the food and drink concepts, we have respected the history of the site,” says David Loewi, MD of D&D London. “Germany is well established for its wine yet its cuisine is often underrepresented in London. We aim to help change this and Bjoern’s menus will feature some delicious dishes from Germany and its surrounding countries.”