The Los Angeles Athletic Club

by Kyle Huewe

The Kahuna Room

The Kahuna Room

The Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC) has announced the completion of Phase 2 of its luxurious $10 million renovation. The iconic first private club of Los Angeles’ goal was to merge its flavorful history with a new, contemporary look, appealing to a new wave of downtown patrons.

On May 15th of this year, the LAAC unveiled their state-of-the-art women’s locker rooms, as well as the new Kahuna Room, a surf-inspired clubhouse and home of WAVE, an organization committed to offering unique networking opportunities to new and existing female members. The LAAC also debuted five new meeting rooms on the fourth floor, fitted by renowned interior designer Tracy Beckmann, known for a unique, classy charm.

The renovation project offers a major upgrade to one of the premier clubs in Los Angeles boasting a history of 138 years. LA-based SRK Architects and general contractor Phoenix Construction & Management focused on the fourth, fifth, and sixth floors of the 12-story building – floors that include athletic, social, and meeting spaces. Renovations were also focused on three floors of hotel spacing.

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The final renovations to the sixth floor of the LAAC will be ready for the viewing public in 2019, including a unisex spa area and a multi-purpose salt room offering yoga, meditation, and halo therapy. Among other exciting changes, the LAAC will also soon feature a barber shop, nail salon, and the historic poolside lounge and dining area will be reimagined as Plunge Café.

Flaunt had a chance to speak with Cory Hathaway, Assistant General Manager of the LAAC, whose family has owned and managed the Club for five generations.

FLAUNT: The LAAC has been a fixture in downtown LA for over 100 years, but DTLA is of course undergoing a massive renaissance. What changes in downtown are you excited about, and how will this impact LAAC?

HATHAWAY: We are most excited about the revitalization of Broadway and Seventh streets. These streets historically were the most important retail, restaurant, and entertainment corridors and had some the highest foot traffic in the country. Broadway contains one of the largest intact pre-World War II architecture. Seventh street is developing into one of the top restaurant rows in the city. Both these streets connect many of the different downtown neighborhoods and will be the location of the downtown street car.

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In a city full of gyms, health clubs, and studios, what is the unique differentiation point at LAAC?

LAAC is unique in the scope of its athletic offerings. Sports like basketball, swimming, racquetball, squash with traditional fitness programming is hard to find. A locker room with spa-grade steam, sauna, and quiet lounges. Combining athletic and spa amenities with social and business facilities like bars, restaurants, meeting rooms, and hotel rooms allows for a live work balance of amenities. And of course the history. Having 138 years of history in LA is very unique.

How did you go about determining to work with SRK amongst the numerous architecture firms in the city?

SRK was chosen because we wanted a firm where the principal architect was going to be hands on and who would personally give this project the care and attention to detail that it deserved.


Photographs by: Jake Harrison