The FX Beauties Club

The trade and gambling of money through the FOREX network has constructed a global infrastructure on dependency between the financial centers. Constituting itself in-between the non-physical and official sphere of the money trade through the banks and the domestic setting the unofficial gambling represents, the trade itself symbolize contradictions. Rooted in a neoclassical economy, the exchange of money represents a fluent infrastructure, which can seem impossible to grasp.

Contemporary FX trade, especially between London and Tokyo, is heavily linked and reliant on the unofficial domestic gambling represented through 36 official housewives, eight million unofficially, of the Japanese trading community: the FX Beauties, a micro-economy driven by desire, which eventually can cause the (un)stability of the financial market to collapse.

Since 2007, these women have increased the exchange of the yen with other currencies and made the global economy dependent on their gambling by, at the peak, representing thirty percent of all retail currency trade out of Japan. The FX Beauties seem to constitute an alternative economy and feminisation of the existing market, both working with and against it. Interestingly, the women of the FX Beauties Club seem to represent a new definition of the patriarch. Historically, the job of these housewives has been to protect the savings of the family and secure the stability of the family. Now this is gambled in the attempt to empower her position through financial independence and possibly as an act against being domesticated.

The FX Beauties Club proposes a physical women’s club of the 21st Century, inhabited by the members of the FX Beauties. Situated in the interstitial space, the women’s club critiques the existing and historical gendered ‘man-made’ area of London by being sited in-between the gentlemen’s clubs of the so-called club-land, St. James. With the appearance of being deconstructed and inserted, the proposed building begins to reference the historical buildings surrounding the site and gives the impression of the women’s club to be almost floating.

By using a palette of reflective and matte surfaces, the building begins to propose and invert boundaries between the clubs, the genders and the symbolic value of views crossing through both the feminine and the masculine clubs. With the use of staged reflections, the The FX Beauties Club is carefully controlling the perception of the interior and the members inhabiting the fragmented building parts. The site specificity and the use of controlled reflections aims to construct spaces that begin to suggest an architecture that reflects the position of the FX Beauties as being in-between two genders, cities and time zones.