Virgin Atlantic Upper Class isn’t about getting from A to B. It’s about the experience: excellence delivered with flair. We were asked to bring this spirit to life for the airline’s flagship Clubhouse at Heathrow.
We created a lounge that helped define Virgin’s reputation for hospitality, and entertainment. The 2,500 sq m space – designed to a budget of £11 million, and completed in 2006 – includes a library, bar, deli and full-service restaurant, as well as a full range of travel facilities.
It’s practical, and spectacular. Inspired by the city of London and the landscape of the British Isles, we created an open, flowing space punctuated by a series of ‘landmarks’: a space that invites you to explore. The sweeping ceiling creates a feeling of walking under a wide, undulating sky.
With such an open design, balance was key. At the heart of the lounge is a 14m-long cocktail bar and dining area: an ever-busy social hub. Around the perimeter, quieter areas, like the spa and hot tub, offer sanctuary.
A decade after its opening, the Clubhouse continues to attract attention. It was voted ‘Best Airline Lounge 2010’ by the industry, and ‘Best Airport Lounge in the World’ by passengers. In 2013, it was crowned Europe’s leading airline lounge at the World Travel Awards.
The Clubhouse has become one of an iconic brand’s biggest icons.
As Richard Branson put it:
“As we moved into the airline business, we did not forget that focus on comfort and quirkiness. Virgin Atlantic is as famous for its outstanding airport lounges as it is for its Upper Class suites. The one at Heathrow is my favourite.”