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Women-only members’ club Chief lands in London

A London townhouse has been transformed by Thirdway, putting an ‘ungendered’ English stamp on the US company’s identity.

06/04/2023

2 min read

Chief womens members club workspace london bar

Photography: Peter Ghobrial


With some of the best-preserved examples of Georgian architecture in London, Bloomsbury has a history of female empowerment – the location of Bedford College, the first higher education institution for women in the UK.

The perfect choice, then, for women-only members’ club Chief’s first international location, occupying a historic townhouse with event spaces, meeting rooms, workspaces and a bar. Designed by Chief’s all-female team in collaboration with design studio Thirdway, the clubhouse’s design mixes the ‘home-from home’ style of the US venues while also delivering a sense of place through London-specific details.

“The design of the clubhouse needed to adopt the history of the beautiful Georgian building whilst marrying Chief’s ungendered style,” comments Thirdway‘s Alex Hodson. “We wanted a mix of what felt “Chief” but with a London stamp on it; while also being sympathetic to the age of the building and the local London area.”

The Grade I listed townhouse connects to a four-story mews by way of a central glazed link, and the building’s original features and setting have influenced the clubhouse’s design. Members are greeted by a dark wooden reception desk, inspired by the arches and curved glass of the townhouse, mixed with the linear panelling features and groove detailing in the fireplaces.

Plush, velvet-upholstered furniture in rich jewel tones reference Bedford Square’s Georgian heritage, while pouffes covered in 1990s Piccadilly Line upholstery nod to its London locale. Further traditional influences such as solid brass classic light fittings are used to showcase the custom artworks that grace the walls, chosen to spotlight diverse artists chosen by women-led gallery Uprise Art.

Established in 2019, Chief has 20,000 members across the U.S. and UK including representation from 77% of Fortune 100 companies, and offers women working in senior leadership roles a chance to find community and connection. The London clubhouse is one of five flagships, with additional locations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco.

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