LA PALESTRA at The Plaza is located on the lower level of the Landmark Plaza Hotel. Founder Pat Manocchia partnered with architect Frank Gehry and Davies Tang & Toews to conceive a multi-level, state-of-the-art space that reflects LA PALESTRA’s fully integrated philosophy, while still preserving the classic architecture of the historic hotel.
Services available at LA PALESTRA are designed to encompass and further the concept of a medical/fitness hybrid and include everything from Marathon Training & Pose Method Technique to Acute Back Pain Management and Pregnancy/Post-Partum Exercise.
The 9,000 square foot space is divided between two floors. The first floor features state-of-the-art cardio equipment from brands including Woodway, Cybex, Star Trac, Precor and Uesaka – all with personal entertainment centers. The first floor also houses Cybex strength training machines, free weights, Stall Bars, a stretching area, individual therapy rooms, locker facilities with steam rooms and private showers. The second floor offers an array of training equipment including Pilates Reformers and Cadillacs, Kettlebells, climbing ropes, a CompuTrainer, cardiovascular equipment and customized Olympic weightlifting platforms.
Connected by one of Gehry’s signature, staircases, each floor boasts multi-leveled ceilings, and panels of mirrors mounted off the wall on iron frames to create added depth. LA PALESTRA partnered with lighting specialist Hervé Descottes, whose company, L'Observatoire International, designed the lighting for the Richelleu Wing of The Louvre Museum in Paris, to brighten the space and feature the height of the rooms. “I believe in Pat's mission and wanted to help him create a space that supported his work,” said Frank Gehry. “We knew we wanted a space that was exciting, modern and uplifting. We worked until we got that and I think it's a really nice space to be in,” added Gehry.
Many of the space’s original inner workings such as The Plaza’s unique columns are intact and on display in the raw yet refined space. A focal point of the second level is a 60-foot exposed brick and cement wall that runs the width of the lower level and shows the building’s rich history through previous construction notes and spray paint that remains untouched in its new home. Across from this wall, a large column covered in weathered subway tile hints that this space was at one time part of the New York City Subway system.
The flooring throughout the facility varies from vertical grain douglas fir, natural maple and grey slate to hard rubber and cork to accommodate the specific function of a given space. Manocchia’s design philosophy at The Plaza and in all LA PALESTRA spaces puts great emphasis on maintaining one's personal space and privacy. To achieve this he used the 100-year-old columns and equipment to visually create private spaces.