Timothy Oulton: Blue Room, Los Angeles Athletic Club
Posted on August 09 2017
The legendary Blue Room at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, the city's oldest private members club reopens to newly renovated designs by Timothy Oulton.
Celebrating over one hundred years of heritage, the Los Angeles Athletic Club revealed its newly renovated Blue Room, designed by Timothy Oulton. With a rich history dating back to 1912, the private members club still remains a prominent cultural institution for the city and needed a new look interior to reflect the club's heritage and authenticity. During the four week project, the design team were asked to transform the fourth floor conference room into a sophisticated lounge and bar, inspired by the original set of designs.
The project started with the removal of the false ceiling and old carpeting, permanently exposing the buildings pipework and cabling above that had been hidden away for centuries. Spray painting this newly exposed area black allowed the design to utilise the full height of the space whilst drawing attention down into the centre of the room. The original concrete floor was unearthed and polished to create the much loved edgy industrial look, a beautiful contrast to the rich heritage furniture and colourful detailing to fill the new lounge and bar. During the renovation, a hidden staircase was discovered, frozen in time, connecting the third and fourth floors together. This fascinating and surprising discovery was then incorporated into the final design, becoming the new entrance to the Blue Room. A trick bookcase in the third floor bar now opens up to this intriguing secret stairwell, where black walls are covered from floor to ceiling with framed photographs chosen from the club's archives, each one sharing a unique part of the brand's history.
The layout of the Blue Room has been designed to contain several intimate areas, perfect for hosting meetings, dinners or to sit back and relax in a private state of mind. This multi use space can also be adapted and taken over in its entirety for exclusive use and private events, essentially becoming a club within a club. Each area has its own unique character and charm, shaped by individual furniture pieces and Timothy Oulton's sharp eye for juxtaposing design. One cosy corner, lit by Oulton's iconic candelabra globe table lamps, mixes traditional and contemporary design with the use of hand-softened leather Scholar armchairs against an eye catching Westminster Union Jack sofa. An industrial style has been introduced through the Axel coffee and side tables, handmade from reclaimed boat wood. This area also contains a vintage projector and movie screen for guests to make themselves at home and enjoy a great black and white classic.
The club's athletic heritage extends beyond the framed images of the secret stairwell out into the main room, adorning many of the walls with an eclectic mix of photography, graphics and sporting memorabilia. A decorative focal point has been created by hanging a series of vintage wooden tennis rackets in a circular blossom pattern, creating symmetry to the adjoining living space encased by vibrant upholstered leather chairs. The circular form is a recurring theme throughout the club, mirrored in many of the designs features including a huge drum bookcase, filled with a large selection of vintage books in all shapes and sizes.
A quiet hideaway near the window captures the true essence of a classic gentlemen's lounge. Seated around quirky brass drum side tables, the oversized leather wing chairs offer luxurious comfort and an additional level of privacy, whilst remaining open to the room. Lit by the warming glow of further brass drum lighting above, this location offers a relaxing getaway for a small group looking to enjoy a card game over a whisky or two.
The final destination has been designed with large meetings and social events in mind. A large rustic oak Boston dining table, topped with distressed aluminium and surrounded by six vibrant arm chairs form a central work and presentation space.Suspended above this is an incredibly beautiful and elegant chandelier, flooding the space with sparkling light. The classic Timothy Oulton style with sports memorabilia continue with large American style lockers, topped with trophies fill one wall. lines of shin pads, hockey sticks and other sporting equipment decorate the walls whilst also contributing to the welcoming homely feel that greets guests upon arrival.
Timothy Oulton designs never cease to amaze and the Blue Room at Los Angeles Athletic Club is yet another project to add to the impressive and growing collection of characterful interiors that the brand has managed to complete. Whilst the style remains classic Oulton, the level of detail taken from the heritage of the club, surrounding area and genre of sport makes it one of a kind. The members club may be celebrating a rich history but it is safe to say that the new Blue Room has secured itself a place in the books for a very long time to come.