Creative Movement
Belle Magazine Australia|August - September 2019

A new breed of wellness spaces are a far cry from the dank, dark gyms and impersonal health facilities we were once forced to frequent.

Stephen Todd

PARAMOUNT RECREATION CLUB is perched on the rooftop of a grand old heritage building in Surry Hills, Sydney. Nestled within the 1930s parapet, its main training room is open to the elements – a heavy translucent curtain slides across should the weather become inclement (though there’s something wonderful about feeling a southerly buster gathering force as you go through your paces). On the spacious terrace, sky-blue canvas sunshades and lush succulent plantings lend the popular meeting space a Palm Springs allure, while views out onto the medium-rise skyline create a very downtown vibe. The on-site kiosk also happens to serve some of the healthiest (and tastiest) fare in town.

Like many businesses in the rapidly expanding wellness sector, Paramount Recreation Club (PRC) was designed to offer more than just an elementary fitness service. It was conceived to facilitate a new way of being in the city. “PRC is about a balance of social, mental and physical health,” says Bob Barton, design director of the club. “Our brief was focused on eliminating everything that is heavy, enclosed or aggressive in the fitness industry, and creating a space that is uplifting and light in its approach. We wanted to elevate the beauty of the building and provide practical spaces for the highly variable program.”

That program consists of around 100 classes per week, from kickboxing, Pilates, yoga and meditation to the ‘Paramount workout’, which is an adapted circuit program with four trainers each focusing on mobility, stability, conditioning or strength. “I think the most satisfying result is that we see a great social atmosphere among our members, and also the staff, which is in some part about a shared appreciation of the rooftop as a beautiful space to be in,” Bob says.

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