An Alternative Way To Stay Cool This Season

D.C. is fraught with pools on top of apartment buildings, D.C.-run community pools and the occasional roof deck restaurant, but no where is there a members-only pool social club.

Until now.

The Penthouse Pool Club on U St. opened last weekend with a large turnout despite less-than-stellar weather, drawing their 1,000 members to a 60-foot pool, private sun deck, resort cabanas, communal fire pits and a membership lounge offering full food and beverage service.    
The planning for the pool club started almost three years ago with an idea by David von Storch, president of Urban Adventures Companies, the parent company of VIDA Fitness, which has five locations throughout the city. A resident of D.C. for 25 years, he said there was a niche that hadn’t previously been filled, largely in part because ten years ago, there wasn’t the same demand there is now.

“It’s now a true urban center; it’s grown up a lot,” he said in a phone interview. He pointed to the neighborhood of Logan Circle, where he resides. “I can walk to the grocery store, to the gym, the hardware store and to 15 restaurants; that wasn’t possible ten years ago in virtually any neighborhood. People are looking to live in the city, it’s not just convenient for work, it actually fits with how they see themselves living.”

The 12,000 square foot rooftop was previously just that, a rooftop with an unattractive air conditioning system. But in the three years of planning, they modified the space for the pool, and moved the A.C. system underneath it. With plans to stay open until late October, the pool is heated by the rejection energy put out by the FIDA fitness gym. The A.C. system already takes this heat out to put in cool air, so they’re simply re-routing where it goes, which in the end, von Storch says, will be a huge cost saver and an environmentally friendly decision.

With a lounge and pool capacity of 299 and 25 staffers, members and guests will be able to see panoramic capital views. The membership roster to the Penthouse Pool Club is now filled, however Urban Adventures Companies has established a waiting list for those wishing to become future members. Membership to the pool club also includes full access to all five D.C.-area VIDA Fitness locations.

Designed by Stoneking von Storch Architects of other clubs like the Soho House in New York City and Miami, he noted that the Poolhouse Club is unique in that it’ll not only have the fitness component downstairs, but Aura Spa on the first floor, due to open later this summer.

With an exclusive and an above-18 membership, the club is sure to draw crowds as the weather gets warmer.

“The fact that you have to be 18, be a member of VIDA, creates an environment where it will be more relaxing, whereas other pools there are lots of kids jumping around. This is an alternative to that on the weekends, and not have to go out of town.”

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