Coming back to Soho House Rome one year after its opening, it seems it’s lost its exotic air.
After a summer of watching it splattered across our Instagram feed, the ten-story industrial building made of travertine, looks a lot less cool. The feeling of trying to prove you are better than someone radiates from the photos, blatantly defying the Soho House no phones, no cameras rule. There is a no pictures policy, not to protect celebrities, but because it’s just really irritating when you’re having dinner and the people seated next to you are taking pictures of each other. Don’t we get enough of that from tourists invading Rome’s best restaurants?
While the Roman sun, let's face it, will easily allow the use of the terrace and 15-meter pool from April to October, the status shake- down upon exiting the elevator doesn’t give off the community vibe that is supposedly the core value of Soho House.
Strangely enough, the staff seems to perpetuate this broadcasting of aspiration, selectively interacting with nonmember friends and ignoring others. Perhaps hoping to impress those ‘worthy” of the House, and score another sale.To join, it is not enough to pay an entrance fee.
One must be passionate about art and connected to the world of creativity. Applications, even if submitted by a member, are carefully studied by the London team for admission. And punctually only one out of three passes.
It’s an inclusive community in theory, certainly when we consider the historically elitist and prejudiced “circolo” clubs found in Rome, where last names are the ultimate in social cachet. However, one could go so far as to say that Soho House Rome appears to be selling low - level exclusivity to a new generation of status- conscious Romans. While there are groups of like- minded creators to be found, there is no shortage of older men and their well- heeled young lovers.
But, to be fair, a membership to the most talked about club in the world has a few perks .
In this club you can do everything under one roof: meet people, work, have lunch, watch a movie, participate in events organized by the team, and go to the gym or pool.Source: fanpage.it
Soho House Rome also has a private collection of contemporary works by young Italian artists (Gianni Politi, Nico Vascellari, Silvia Giambrone, Romina Bassu, Marta Mancini, Ludovica Gioscia, to name a few) who have themselves become members of the house, in keeping with founder Nick Jones' focus on the creative class.
The style of Soho House Rome, from the architecture to the furnishings is iconic, designed by the in-house team who wanted the facade on the ground floor, and some industrial elements, to dialogue with the mood of the neighborhood.
The neighborhood of San Lorenzo, chosen purposefully as anti- historic center, is a residential area that traditionally housed artisans, laborers and railway workers. It is also known as a place where up-and-coming artists work, finding affordable studio space, and where many students live.
Since Soho House Rome has landed here, housing prices have increased and there is talk of making the local squares pedestrian- only. Another case of gentrification in an arts community?
Soho House was never designed to be about money or status, but about who the actual person was, it doesn’t matter if that person was a struggling script writer or a person who has written a hundred successful screenplays. It’s disappointing that Rome’’s location is catering to an I’m- better- than- you crowd.
Hopefully the Soho House community will have more success in their next Italian location - Milan.
Next opening Milan
This one in San Lorenzo is the first Italian Soho House, but soon another will be ready in Milan, opposite the Pinacoteca di Brera.
The membership fee
Those under 27 can join the community, which currently has 120,000 members, with a reduced fee: 500 euros a year and the opportunity to reserve rooms in every Soho House in the world.
The full fee for a local Soho House is 1,800. On the other hand, to gain access to those around the world (Every House) goes up to 2,200, but always only after passing the selection process.
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Soho house Rome, worth it or not?
Via Cesare de Lollis, 14, 00185 Roma RM, Italia
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