It’s impossible to envision an all-women’s space without harking back to the seemingly immortal words of Virginia Woolf: “A woman must have money and a room of her own.” Recently, for Katie Earl and Emma Rayner of East London–based architecture and design studio No.12, it was time to make this “room”—actually, make that rooms—a reality.
The AllBright, which opened on International Women’s Day this year, is an all-women’s private club geared towards networking and professional development. The designers have allocated each section of the club to a different function meant to benefit AllBright members in some way, whether that means fostering relationships or growing businesses. And from the bar's brassy accents to the unfussy sophistication of private reading nooks, all five floors boast the most elegant in contemporary design, complemented by the building’s Georgian wainscoting, fireplaces, and molding.
For an all-women’s space, one color is conspicuously absent. “We consciously made the decision from the get-go to not include any pink, as we felt this is such an obvious and outdated presumption of women’s tastes,” the designers explain. “Our belief of the wants of a London-based professional woman is one of cool sophistication.”
Promoting female-led businesses informed how No.12 selected furnishings, too. “Our design approach was to source from trusted female designers and businesses as much as possible. We found furniture and accessories from Béton Brut and Sigma, Rebecca Willer and flowers by Abigail Ahern. The AllBright also worked with David Bowie’s art curator, Beth Greenacre, on the artwork selection, which comprises pieces entirely by female artists.”