02 Point Club

By Ruth Kennelly

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Forma Interiors Magazine, Volume 3 Issue 5.

Irish Design – when talent and experience meet youth and enthusiasm creativeness is the consequence, and nowhere is this more evident than on the fit out of the exclusive O2 Point Club .

The moment I stepped into the offices of One Productions on Clare Street I sense the creatively charged atmosphere of the company. The designers of The O2 Point Club have much to be happy about, not only are they soon to launch a fashion and jewellery line but they have also produced a film which will premiere at the Galway film festival in July 2004 and won the “best soundtrack” award at the Bordeaux film festival 2003.

One particular feature, which should be noted for its originality and boldness, is that of the staircase. Formed from free-standing steel supports, cut at irregular heights and clad with walnut, its aerial perspective is like that of the Manhattan skyline

The title of the company conceals the various elements that combine to make up this most unique venture. The multi-faceted nature of One productions includes interior design, graphic design, film, music, fashion and jewellery design or as Christina Brosnan terms it everything required to ‘Hear One, Surround One, Adorn One, One Productions’. In other words One Productions are in the business of designing concepts not products.

Mike Adamson, managing director of The Point, commissioned The O2 Point Club as an exclusive and luxurious space for its members; a VIP destination that would give international credibility to The Point as a venue. The result is a space that can not only operate as a members club, but as a setting for a variety of functions, private movie viewings and, more recently, fashion shows.

The scheme for The O2 Point Club was to evoke the sense of “an ocean liner jacked up over The Point and permanently docked”. The interior had to be centred on its patrons, saturating their senses while preserving a timeless demure aesthetic. The seating is varied and flexible with wide poufs and robust sofas to accommodate those who have a penchant for sitting on the arms of chairs. Irish suppliers were used wherever possible and as One Production’s Tom Hopkins pointed out, to source items locally was “logistically preferable”. Deep pile carpets and richly coloured walls ensure that the interior appears bold and striking by day, moody and sultry by night. Some of the existing granite, an instantly recognizable feature of The Point, remains exposed and serves well as an earthy foil to the luxurious surroundings.

As always fire regulations played a major part in the overall design of the entrance. Christina’s original plan to locate the entrance to the club among the front entrance arches of the building had to be discarded. In order to comply with fire regulation the front entrance arches had to designation as fire escape exits for the venue, as Christina put it “the design of the club was dictated by the fire regulations”.

Lighting is a key feature of the interior and lighting designer Niamh Barry was brought on to the design team at concept stage to “take the city and turn it into an abstract lighting landscape”. Christina describes the hours spent with Niamh watching the evening sky turn to dusk in order to accurately access the lighting needs of the building. The proclamation was that the “Lighting was going to be the art” and the resulting focus on shadow play, reminiscent of Gaudi’s work will most certainly outshine any starlit that might grace the club.

One particular feature, which should be noted for its originality and boldness, is that of the staircase. Formed from free-standing steel supports, cut at irregular heights and clad with walnut, its aerial perspective is like that of the Manhattan skyline. Amusingly this was an element that was mocked by sceptics during construction.

Ronnie Graham, a bog oak sculptor based in Galway was commissioned to produce a piece for the wall at the return of the staircase. An elegant organic sculpture, its illuminated form resembles a series of waves, like those of the nearby Liffey.

Paul McDonnell of One Productions was responsible for the development of the club’s identity. Burgundy and various shades of brown were used to great affect on all the printed graphics, including the concert passes – a benefit of club membership – and although 02 are the corporate sponsors of the club it is not readily apparent on the venue’s literature.

From an interior design perspective the originality and well-considered elements that shape The 02 Point Club are the result of a confident originality that is becoming all the more evident in Irish Design.

 


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