Located between King’s Cross and St Pancras railway stations, German Gymnasium was originally constructed in 1864 for the German Gymnastic Society.
It was the first of its type in England and the first venue to host the National Olympic Games in 1866.
Conran + Partners was commissioned to create a glamorous yet democratic contemporary European Grand Café to complement the newly invigorated King’s Cross masterplan and transform the Grade II-listed building into a unique destination.
Their concept is a refined modern insertion within the existing building; a Bauhaus version of a European Grand Café.
The team worked closely with landlord Argent’s base build team and their architects Allies and Morrison to preserve the building’s core structure, whilst making necessary interventions to prepare it for its new life as a hospitality venue.
The main spatial concept was to reinstate the first floor ‘viewing’ gallery (previously in filled in the 90’s for office space) to allow for impressive views of all dining areas and most importantly the breath-taking roof structure.
Many of the building’s unique historic details, such as the climbing hooks in the ceiling and cast steel columns, have been retained, setting the tone for the choice of materials, colours and textures for interior detailing.
Warm, walnut timber panelling and black and grey distressed leather upholstery have been juxtaposed with fresh, contemporary insertions such as the occasional pink and red tone to add depth and visual interest.
Photo credits: Conran + Partners
Designer: CONRAN & PARTNERS