Inspired by the classical beach house luxury of spending summers in the Hamptons, the Club House in Liverpool, UK, is a luxurious blend of history and design innovation.
International design company Paul Danson Imagineering (PDI) worked once again with The New World Trading Company, the pub group founded by the brains behind Living Ventures, to create Liverpool 1’s unique Club House. With bespoke lighting fixtures from Manchester-based Tyson Lighting, and inspired by its sea faring surroundings, the Club House is something quite distinctive.
The development of the project was a long journey for PDI in delivering the building that stands today, with doubts as to whether a design firm could fully develop a building that would be a strong stand alone design statement, and a destination landmark for Liverpool city. PDI CEO Paul Danson explained: “I thought about a building which had a connection to the close proximity of the site to the sea, something romantic and themed with a great history and strong story line.”
After in depth research and a look back into his library of archived holiday photographs, Danson conceptualised a beach house conversion of a house in the Hamptons in New England, US. “This was to be a great starting point,” said Danson. “As a destination I have visited and admired greatly as a very cool and beautiful place with extremely inspirational properties, I knew this was the beginning of The Club House.”
The exterior of the building takes its influences from a property that might be found on the front line of a white sandy beach. Upon entering the property, Danson wanted to maintain the feeling that it was once a residential home, preserving the grand staircase, which would once have led to bedrooms or lounge areas. Danson was also keen to preserve a femininity and elegance to the design, underpinned with strength in form through the introduction of heavy detailing doors. Surrounding panelling at dado height, and spacious rooms create the opportunity to pass through from bar to restaurant with ease, maintaining at all times the connection of the complete interior.
All the light fittings were custom designed by Danson working closely with Tyson Lighting, a company close to the PDI team. “Both companies had a mutual appreciation for eachother’s work,” said Tyson Lighting’s Product Design Engineer Michael Radford. “With its “anything is possible” approach, Tyson Lighting had impressed PDI on previous projects, particularly in the Manchester bar and restaurant scene, leaving PDI safe in the knowledge that we would be the perfect team for the Club House project.”
After meeting with PDI, the Tyson Projects and Design teams were informed of the theme and layout of the Clubhouse scheme. Danson had a clear vision of the bespoke pendants he wanted to develop, and provided sketches of the large balloon pendant and two champagne glass chandeliers. The next step for Radford was to develop the sketches in CAD and present the designs to PDI for approval. “It took a real collaborative approach from the Tyson Projects, Design and Engineering teams to bring the sketches to life,” said Radford.
To add an air of decadence to the Hampton’s beach house feel, Tyson was commissioned to create a number of feature chandeliers. Two polished nickel metalwork frames were adorned with crystal decanters, drops, champagne flutes, cut glass and tinted goblets creating glamorous chandeliers appearing in the dining rooms, which added femininity to the scheme.
For the central chandelier in the Club House’s grand stairwell, Radford explained how this space allowed Tyson to really exploit the grandeur of the bespoke fitting: “The crystal chandelier was positioned centrally and with its complex array of crystal prisms, illuminates the room with refracted light, producing a brilliantly bright feature.” A cluster of nine warm white LED filament lamps were used to illuminate the internal body of the chandelier, reflecting light through the crystal drops suspended via the strings of crystal and the arrangement of decorative glasses.
The steel framework was hand formed and adorned with decorative banding sourced from America, with decorative scrolls fixed to the top of the band, which was adorned with swags of crystal buttons. The components were laser cut and finished in a high polished nickel finish to match the frame and banding.
“We used Unistrut components to fix and construct the internal frame of the ring,” Radford continued. “This served to hide the wiring trails and connections but also to support the fine mesh, which served to suspend the glasses and crystal drops. It also worked to create a flat surface to arrange a display of champagne related decorative silverware to make the feature of the top to look like a serving tray.”
The chandelier presented a relatively complex manufacturing and installation process. Tyson had to wire and hide control gear efficiently and find a suitable method of suspending the champagne flutes perfectly straight – something which they could only explore during the manufacturing and installation processes rather than being able to plan for it. Radford explained: “In order to suspend the glass so they hung vertically straight, we drilled two 3mm holes in the base of each glass and threaded nickel pins through 6mm crystal beads and then through the holes and rolled the pins on the other side of the base. This gave us something to thread the nylon cord through so we could tie and suspend the glasses from these two points. Using this method each glass found its natural point to hang straight.”
Danson had also discussed his desire to hang a grand hot air balloon in one of the ceiling atriums. A rich burgundy colour fabric with decorative tassels was draped around the steel frame creating a theatrical edge to the fitting. The grand atrium with its high ceilings lent itself to an imposing feature and allowed Tyson to create the 3.2m balloon pendant.
Working in conjunction with the showstopper pieces, clear glass pendants were hung throughout to ensure the large space was kept light and airy. A second glass chandelier was used in the dining room of the building that related to the idea of an opulent home. Yet to focus on the centre pieces of the lighting scheme and Club House in general, the impact of the champagne and balloon fixtures is clear; they give the venue a sense of brand identity and not only do they illuminate the spaces but also provide a talking point for customers. “Club House stands out because the fittings really are the stars of the show. Rather than just being your typical chandeliers, they are unique pieces of art that add immense character to the scheme,” said Radford.
All the timber for the project were sourced in Ireland with the aim of creating an authentic aged feel. The interior is dressed with props and accessories sourced from all over the UK and Ireland, the variety of which enhances the Club House’s authenticity.
“I wanted all the pictures on the walls to be as if the family had simply left them hanging and the dressings had been bought off the family who previously owned the house. We feel we achieved this and we’re very excited to see what reaction the project receives,” said Danson.
In this collaborative project, PDI and Tyson created something that really stands out from its surroundings while conversing with its position by the sea. It captures luxury and comfort in the style of a high-end home and oozes excitement as a lavish beach getaway destination. It’s a bar and restaurant to spend an evening, or an afternoon, and a home away from home to return to for a lifetime.