Michaelis Boyd Associates, the London-‐based architecture and design practice, has 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 asked to look at a small brief, 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. Michaelis Boyd worked closely with the client, Matthew Hobbs to refine and establish the requirements of the club as it enters its fourth decade. The new Groucho Club design significantly alters the entire building to create a unified design concept across all floors. Michaelis Boyd’s proposal , which took 24-‐ months to design and 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 project was like a challenging jigsaw puzzle, unlocking the potential of a very tight site across three old Soho buildings, to create an intuitive flow across the floors and rooms for club members. 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 client did not want to eclipse the aura of the club with a complete overhaul, preferring a sensitive approach that simply enhanced the unique atmosphere of the Groucho Club.
The Mary 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. The walls have been relined with linen to help the acoustics of the space, chosen in a light, neutral tone as a backdrop to the Salon-‐ style hanging of the Groucho’s unique art collection.
Michaelis Boyd collaborated with the Groucho creative team throughout the design process, working closely with creative director Alice Anthony and Nicky Carter, the club’s director of art. It was important that The Groucho’s incredible ever-‐changing art collection was the highlight of every room. 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 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 and reupholstered antiques compliment the space and make it work equally well during the day and at night. Michaelis Boyd sourced furniture, fabrics, and reclaimed items to create a diverse and eclectic look, as if the scheme has grown together over time. The Soho bar has been completely reworked to provide a stylish modern design with a feature resin 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, including the timber panelling on the walls of the main staircase and main bar which have been stripped back to reveal their original beauty. An antique oak floor has been added to give the room (the main bar?) a real sense of timelessness. Michaelis Boyd have also uncovered and restored an antique stained glass window that was part of the original building. On the second floor, Michaelis Boyd created a state of the art, opulent screening room with custom-‐made furniture, fabric-‐lined panelling and luxurious carpeting. The Groucho’s former ground floor reception area has been redesigned to create an entirely new library room for members and new entrance lobby which is due to complete this year.
Michaelis Boyd Associates, the London-‐based architecture and design practice, has 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 asked to look at a small brief, 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. Michaelis Boyd worked closely with the client, Matthew...
- Year 2015
- Work finished in 2015
- Status Completed works
- Type Restaurants / Private clubs/recreation centres