December 20, 2019

M-Rad Gives the Social Club a Modern Update at Philadelphia’s Fitler Club

Tiles sourced from Tribeca Stone and a zinc bar top give the back bar an industrial feel. Photography by Annie Schlechter.

The social club has been a part of the fabric of metropolitan life for centuries. At Fitler Club in Philadelphia, it gets an overdue upgrade for the modern era. In contrast with the stuffy, old-money private clubs of years past, the 136,000-square-foot space overlooking the Schuylkill River has a focus on diversity, culture, and high achievement.

On offer are amenities for work, stay, and play. There’s a state-of-the-art gym and spa, a restaurant with menu by legendary Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri, three bars, 34,000 square feet of workspace and private offices, and an event space with a two-lane bowling alley. It’s all available exclusively to members, or to guests staying at one of only 14 hotel rooms.

The bed in a guest room was custom made by local craftsmen at Philly Custom Millwork. Photography by Annie Schlechter.

The site is Philadelphia’s former Marketplace Design Center. Founder David Gustadt and design director Amanda Potter collaborated with Matthew Rosenberg’s Los Angeles-based architecture and design studio M-Rad to gut renovate the interior while leaving historic exterior details intact. Local artisans and locally sourced materials were used as much as possible. The resulting space is distinctly modernist with industrial touches, such as exposed concrete structural columns in the dining room.

A Damien Hirst painting hangs on a wall of charred wood paneling near the main bar. Photography by Annie Schlechter.

Fitler Club also boasts impressive art collection. There are works by Joseph Beuys, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Damien Hirst, and Charles Gaines, among others, much of which is from the founders’ collections. There’s an artist-in-residence program, too, supporting both known and emerging artists with Philadelphia ties.

The master suite’s furniture is exclusively from Roche Bobois. Photography by Annie Schlechter.

Among the 14 guest rooms are two master suites. Gustadt tapped the French furniture retailer Roche Bobois and the Philadelphia-based modern furniture retailer Minima to each design and accessorize one of the suites with their products, including custom furniture. All the rooms feature premium details, like bathroom fixtures cut from a single slab of marble and Kallista fixtures.

A custom sink, made from a single piece of calacatta cielo marble, uses Kallista fittings. Photography by Annie Schlechter.

A stay in the hotel grants access to the club’s amenities, like the 25,000 square foot gym and The Field House, which has studios for spinning, meditation, pilates, and other cardio as well as a 75-foot lap pool. Then there’s the Trophy Room, a unique event space with a bowling alley, billiards and ping pong tables, and classic arcade games.

Adam Pendleton’s work “Our Ideas #3” from the Michael Forman collection hangs above a couch by Minotti by the reception desk. Photography by Annie Schlechter. 

Finally there’s Offsite, a 34,000-square-foot private workspace and coworking space with conference rooms, board rooms, and meeting spaces. It’s also home to the Art @ Offsite program, made up of two initiatives to elevate emerging and renowned artists with Philadelphia ties, with artwork showcased and for sale. Non-members can see the collection, too, during public tours on the first Thursday of each month.

Wallpaper and tiles in the bathroom were locally sourced. Photography by Annie Schlechter. 

Fitler Club hopes to be a home away from home for its exclusive group of members, and more cities are in the pipeline for additional clubs. To see it for yourself, book a stay for the night, or join the waitlist for membership.

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