London’s iconic Groucho Club redesigned
London-based architecture and design practice Michaelis Boyd Associates have completed work on an extensive redesign of the iconic Groucho Club in the heart of Soho, London, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
Michaelis Boyd was initially briefed to integrate a lift into the centre of the building, but the project grew to incorporate a cohesive and broad reworking of the entire layout of the club, which had grown organically over the years.
The new Groucho Club design significantly modifies the entire building footprint to create a unified design concept across all floors. The design, which took 24-months to execute, creates new openings and connections between the many rooms of the club to knit the entire space together in a more natural way.
The new architectural scheme acted as a catalyst to develop and refurbish the interiors of all the main rooms in the club, and to give life to underused rooms. As part of the extensive refurbishment of key spaces, Michaelis Boyd has brought back to life much of the original charm of the building.
The ‘may lou’ room, situated on the first floor of the club, has been reworked to create a new bar and a new direct connection to the dining room. A reclaimed fireplace has been installed at the heart of the room, while a feature plaster ceiling and an antique oak herringbone floor have also been added. In the adjoining dining room the plaster detailing has been brought back to life, and luxurious Brazilian marble tables and sprung curved banquettes have been chosen to create a rich yet comfortable design scheme.
In the Soho Bar Michaelis Boyd experimented with many paint colours to find a vibrant hue that would create a substantially different mood to the rest of the club, while still being a backdrop to showcase the art.
The Soho Bar, which includes an impressive T-shaped members’ bar on the first floor, has been given a more contemporary feel with dramatic lacquered walls and a reclaimed wooden floor from the BBC’s historic Bush House, creating a unique reuse of a fitting piece of media heritage. New lights and a wide variety of furniture, including custom-designed pieces, reupholstered antiques, and pieces by Tom Dixon compliment the space and make it work equally well during the day and at night.
A new bar has been completely reworked to provide a stylish modern design with a feature resin art bar top inset into copper detailing inspired by the blue of the oceans, provide a striking focus to the room.
Many of the building’s original features have been restored: the main staircase and the timber panelling on the walls have been stripped back to reveal their original beauty. On the second floor, a modern but opulent screening room with custom-made furniture and fabric-lined panelling and luxurious carpeting can be found.
The Groucho’s former ground floor reception area has been redesigned to create an entirely new library room for members and new entrance lobby.
Images courtesy of Michaelis Boyd Associates
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