Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Refurbishment project...

I was invited to do a design proposal for the Lane Cove Tennis Club - Stage 1.  Set in beautiful, leafy Central Park, and bounded with huge trees, this two-storey brick building had been virtually neglected since its opening in the 1980's.  The current members are a friendly, enthusiastic bunch and they wanted to refresh the building and entice people to linger there.  The Club's uniqueness is the fact that it is New South Wales's, second oldest tennis Club, as it was established in 1908.

The upstairs area had obvious potential - an old tallow wood floor, windows and light on all sides with views of the trees, with the added bonus of an outside balcony overlooking the courts.  It was sad to see old cups and trophies from yesteryear covered in dust and tarnished after years of neglect.

I proposed two design options.  The upstairs area was reminiscent to me of a Singapore club - drawing inspiration from the Raffles Long Bar, I proposed Bethany's "The Grand Shalimar" wallpaper be a feature wall, with ceiling fans installed, and rattan furniture to encourage relaxation and lingering.
Bethany's vision board...

If the Club didn't want to have a feature wall or a specific 'look'. the other option was to completely refresh the look of the interior, focusing on the hard surfaces, new electrics, LED downlights to replace existing fluorescents, a coat of paint in a colour sympathetic to the style of the room and the sanding and sealing of the floor.  That's what they decided to go for...

Work in progress:

The finished room, albeit without photos and memorabilia on the walls...

What is satisfying is that this is now a rentable space and the local fitness club are now using it for yoga and pilates.  They are enjoying the natural light and cross-ventilation that the space has in abundance.

It was also great to see the transformation of some of the impressive old trophies and cups from this:

To this:

Downstairs was a utilitarian space, with plenty of windows on to the courts, but the brick interior walls made the space drab and uninviting.  Being a budget-conscious project, and some structural work to rectify, rendering the walls and replacing the carpet was out of the question in Stage 1 of the project so the main aim was to brighten and freshen the space as best as possible.

It was decided to paint the wooden window and door frames and the 70's dark orange and mustard bathrooms white and purchase contemporary furniture that would appeal to younger members with a bar table and stools, as well as up-dated café furniture and bench seating for more comfort.

One thing that was obviously required, was some sort of storage unit to store racquet bags that members would dump on the floor anywhere.  I designed a racquet storage unit, like large pigeon-holes for storing the bags safely out of harm's way.

One of the main things to bear in mind when you're working for a Club of this type, is to cater for all age groups with seating, so older members have support for their backs.

I'm looking forward to working on Stage 2 now...

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