World’s First Sunlight Simulation Indoor Cycling Experience

Createability completes world’s first sunlight simulation-based indoor cycling experience

Leisure, design and build specialist, Createability, has finished its most exciting project to date, revolutionising the world of indoor cycling with the world’s first sunlight simulation studio at Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush, London.

FirstLight, part of Westfield’s new £600m expansion, is the brainchild of celebrity trainer, Mark Anthony.  It’s the second time the two have worked together. Createability was the development partner on Anthony’s previous health club concept, Rush Fitness, which he sold in 2017 to fund the new £1.75m venture. The concept for FirstLight was created by interior architecture and design company Zync.

Studio One boasts 57 bikes with stadium-style seating, offering unrestricted views of the 30ft ‘magic mirror’ from every angle. The screen transports riders to destinations such as Africa, Manhattan, Rio, Ibiza or Dubai, with FirstLight’s ‘Maestro’ instructors using sound, visuals and sunlight simulation to enhance the experience and reflect the energy demands of each class.

FirstLight’s signature 45 and 60-minute full body cycle workouts take place in a darkened room and include cardio, mindfulness and meditation, together with an upper-body strength workout using body bars to build and tone core muscles.  During each class the advanced sunlight technology mimics the natural sunlight you need at each part of the day, so you can ride through the beauty of dawn to awaken and invigorate yourself, through the energising light of midday to boost alertness and focus, and then the evening light, helping your body produce the sleep-enhancing hormone, melatonin.

Createability’s Commercial Director, Brian Thompson says:  “We set out to build the best, high-end boutique club in London and I believe that’s what we’ve achieved.  It’s so unique with all its bespoke finishes, from the anaconda speakers built into the curved steps of the amphitheatre-style studio to the bright yellow caged stairway that starts the customer experience.  We’ve truly pushed the boundaries on the norm with this fully immersive experience.”

It certainly wasn’t a case of dropping a health club into a shopping centre, as Thompson explains: “Our expertise lies in working with live sites, often redeveloping health clubs and leisure centres where paying customers are still using the facilities, so we’re skilled at orchestrating unconventional projects.  We weren’t allowed to attach FirstLight’s walls to Westfield’s walls, so we built three independent acoustic boxes for the studios, each soundproof to 105 decibels – louder than a jackhammer!  We also had to work using temporary lighting and fitted all the pipes and cabling blind. It was a bit like the building of the Channel Tunnel, hoping everything would meet once Westfield installed their services, and the result was worth it!”

Anthony agrees, he says: “Createability were such a pleasure to deal with and have delivered a fantastic facility for me. No challenge was too big, and I valued their honesty, helping to turn my vision into a reality in the most cost effective way. The entire team were always on call and really thorough, never taking their eye off the ball.”