03 Jul NEW SIX-FLOOR DEVONSHIRE CLUB
For the new Devonshire Club, Nulty Lighting worked with SUSD creative real estate consultancy and the interiors studio March & White, in combining the glamour of a West End private members’ club with the panache of the East End, to create a relaxed, luxurious aesthetic.
Nestled in a quiet pedestrian square, just two minutes’ walk from Liverpool Street, the Devonshire Club is a new 60,000-sqft members’ club. Occupying six floors of an 18th Century former East India Company warehouse and a large Georgian townhouse, the Club’s extensive facilities incorporate a 120-seat brasserie, three bars, private dining rooms, a gymnasium, a garden room, and a boutique hotel with 68 bedrooms and suites.
The Club features a series of spaces, each with its distinct character, but with subtle connections provided by a foundation of mid-century design and couture. Emilio Hernandez, Associate Lighting Designer, Nulty comments: “The interior oozes style and, as with all elements the lighting design – which comprises a combination of decorative and integrated architectural lighting – has been considered with meticulous attention to detail.”
In the reception, cool white light complements the silver-leaf coffered ceiling detail which frames a bespoke Murano glass chandelier. To level out the height of the lobby, lighting has been incorporated into the geometric feature wall and joinery. Features, such as the gold reception desk lamp and a vintage floor lamp, create a domestic feel, bringing human-scale to the generous ceiling height. From the reception, the eye is drawn through the feature stone-clad portal, via a line of light recessed within the handrail detail, and into the bright, effervescent Champagne Bar. Integrated linear lighting under the bar adds vibrancy, while a wash of illumination reveals the deconstructed dropped raft ceiling.
The Champagne Bar of the Devonshire Club leads to the glass-housed Garden Room. During the day, windows at the back of the room allow natural light to flood into this lush oasis, with the arrangement of the garden and adjacent buildings ensuring that the light is diffuse, rather than direct sunlight, thereby reducing glare and ensuring comfort.
At night, floor-standing lamps and decorative pendants combine with lower levels of ambient illumination to create the perfect evening atmosphere. At the heart of the Club is a 120-seat brasserie with a magnificent marbled seafood counter. The ceiling beams form a series of illuminated coffers, where diffuse light balances the deep-plan space, and a layer of ambient light provides atmosphere.
Above the Carrara marble-top bar, elegant glass shelving features integrated LED lighting, and behind the bar, a Mondrian-inspired backlit feature wall adds a pop of colour. Along the back wall cosy dining areas feature a darker palette of oak and red banquette seating. The intimacy of these spaces is supported by decorative lighting which, positioned between the booths, generates a feeling of privacy. Each of the three bars has its own character. The darker tones of the first floor Library Bar are complemented by warm integrated lighting, which gives a sumptuous feel.
Also on the first floor, the Cocktail Bar is a glamorous space in which decorative pendants and floor-standing lights, complement the brighter tones of teak and golden walnut. The elegant Causerie Room has a relaxed salon feel. Here the lighting of vertical surfaces, such as the credenzas and artwork, combines with accent illumination in the window bays and stylish floor-standing lamps, to balance the light and create contrast in what could otherwise appear as a dark space.
The boutique hotel features 68 beautifully designed bedrooms, including interconnecting rooms designed with families in mind and luxurious Club Suites. The relaxed feel is enhanced by contemporary chandeliers and bedside lamps, while integrated lighting located within the bathroom joinery ensures an elegant solution.
The lighting controls are designed to operate intuitively, so that guests can easily achieve the desired ambience. Four events rooms are available for private parties. These are equipped with state-of-the-art AV and presentation facilities and the lighting is provided by a combination of table lights, pendants and diamond-shaped coffers with integrated lighting.
The Georgian building houses the physical health & wellness centre, comprising a gym, a weights room, and a bright and airy studio. The architectural lighting works with the high-end interior design to create a clean, contemporary space. Also within the Georgian building is the hair salon and the cigar shop. Behind the shop, a ‘secret’ pocket door with mounted artwork provides a discreet exit to the winter garden.
Hernandez explains: “As the door opens, a micro switch within the frame, turns off the lighting to the artwork light, located in the ceiling above the door. This prevents guests being distracted by a potential contrast in lighting levels, demonstrating the care taken to ensure visual comfort.” During the design process, the staff and their operational needs were carefully considered and the resulting lighting control system is both cutting-edge and simple to use.
A variety of pre-programmed scenes are implemented throughout the day, but the intuitive nature of the system ensures the lighting can also be easily adjusted by staff, by means of rotary dials, rather than a complex digital interface.
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