Inside L.A.’s Coolest New Health Club
The 75,000-square-foot wellness and social club is Soho House, WeWork and Equinox rolled into one exclusive entity.
“It was a very challenging project to pull off because nobody has done it before,” declares Sebastian Schoepe, President and CEO of RSG Group North America. “[RSG Group founder] Rainer Schaller and I traveled all over Europe, to Asia, we researched clubs in the United States and toured all the premium concepts that we could find. And nothing like this exists anywhere in the world.”
While the words may sound like marketing speak, when referencing RSG Group’s latest members-only fitness cathedral, Heimat, it is difficult to be hyperbolic. To call their sparkling new endeavor near the corner of La Brea and Santa Monica in Los Angeles a “health club” seems woefully reductive.
For RSG, Heimat, which owns global fitness brands like Gold’s Gym, it is a critical chess move. Although the fitness industry took a huge hit during the pandemic, with revenues down 58%, it has been forecasted to balloon 172% to $434 billion by 2028—and clearly RSG Group has ambitious goals to capture as much of that as they can.
The 75,000-square-foot wellness and social club is built out over five floors of a 1933 industrial warehouse, each floor offering something different. After handing your keys to the smiling valet, one enters the Living Room lobby area laced with upholstered couches, vintage furniture, Persian rugs and an all-round homey vibe; Heimat loosely translates from German to “the warm feeling of home.”
In some ways Heimat is a Soho House, WeWork and Equinox all rolled into one, with the possible caveat that it does some silos better than any of them. Until now you either had a social club or a gym or a spa or a workspace, but no one had combined them in such a seamless, organic way. Heimat has established a new gold standard. “Trying to find arguments why a gym needs a full liquor license,” smiles Schoepe, “can be a bit challenging.”
After checking in, you can order a fresh juice or iced latte from the barista. Once you walk through the automatic double doors, a world of high-tech fitness opens up before you. The first room concentrates on free weights, spreading out over 7,000 square feet with Gym80 equipment. Other rooms on the floor offer equipment from Italy’s TechnoGym—official supplier to Ferrari’s Formula 1 team, among others—that seamlessly communicate workout sessions to a Heimat app.
Go up the elevator to the second floor locker rooms—beautifully designed by Germany’s Inco Studio, surfaced with real marble and outfitted with luxuries like Dyson hairdryers and L:a Bruket soaps and lotions. There’s a cedar-wood sauna here, and relaxation room. Eschew the elevator to the third floor and take the stairs.
Like a glitch in the matrix, the back staircase feels like a rip in a Savile Row suit. The walls of the untouched industrial stairs are splotched with graffiti from art-world luminaries like Shepard Fairey and Mr. Brainwash, a rare portal to an era when this part of Hollywood was regularly overrun by ambitious street artists looking for any abandoned surface to tag. And this is only a fraction of Heimat’s art efforts, as they operate as a sort of interactive gallery as well.
The third floor offers more training options including an Elina reformer-lined Pilates room. Plus more state-of-the-art TechnoGym cable equipment and a Balance & Flow Studio with heated, nonheated and contemporary yoga, Kinesis, Barre and Hot Pilates. You could refer to the fourth and fifth floors as the more lifestyle-oriented offerings, although the entire Heimat club resonates with those vibes.
On the fourth story the renowned Martin Brudnizki Design Studio takes over to imagine a truly stunning Art Deco restaurant recalling L.A.’s golden era, replete with chandeliers and a long marble and brass bar. Step outside to the brand new pool lined with daybeds and recliners, cornered with a chic cocktail bar stocked with everything from whisky to agaves, and a catalog-length wine list. The pool is a vision for heat-stroked Angelenos, offering refreshing rooftop dips to cool down, with sweeping views of the mansion-dotted Hollywood Hills and landmarks like the Roosevelt Hotel and the Hollywood sign.
And then there’s the restaurant, Mother Tongue, the brainchild offamed San Francisco chef Michael Mina. The only current L.A. restaurant for the Michelin-starred chef can seat 150 guests inside and out, and caters to almost any diet, offering delicious, beautifully imagined meals that adhere to keto, vegan, Whole30, paleo and more.
The placement by the pool also de-formalizes the situation a bit, as barefoot and shirtless patrons instantly create a more intimate and playful space. You simply would never imagine a place like this could exist in what is essentially a very upmarket gym.
And the top floor offers one last luxury that you certainly would not find in any traditional gym: a Clubhouse handsomely designed by the Brudnizki Studio, with comfy banquettes, colorful tables, and tropical plants creating ample workspaces to lock in a couple hours of emailing between Pilates and the pool. Grab an Aperol spritz and find a corner to log into that Zoom meeting. It’s the Heimat way.