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1880: The Modern Members’ Club.

Timothy Oulton Studio – the interiors and construction design studio of Timothy Oulton – showcases its largest project to date: 1880, the modern antidote to the typical members’ club.

Overlooking Robertson Quay in Singapore, 1880 occupies the third floor of the building that also houses the InterContinental Hotel. The 22,000 sq ft club takes its name from the decade the quay was established.

The Design 

Founder Marc Nicholson and CEO Luke Jones wanted a design that would spark imagination and encourage unplanned conversations, and engaged Timothy Oulton Studio to do just that.

“Luxury is not about things, it’s about experiences, meaning and connection, and that’s what we’ve focussed on in 1880,” says Timothy Oulton.

Timothy Oulton Studio responded to the brief with a multi-sensorial design, seeking to activate and energise the senses at every turn. Entry is through a kaleidoscope tunnel, a portal that separates the outside world from the club.

Ascending the escalator, members arrive at the Rose Quartz reception desk, a 1.5 ton rock crystal mined from Madagascar. This 25 million year old mystical “love stone” emits energy under pressure – the piezoelectric effect.

One of the club’s highlights is The Double, a casual café in the daytime, suitable for relaxing or holding a business meeting, which dramatically transforms into an intimate, seductive bar at night.

As the sun goes down, a hidden, fully stocked bar shelf is lowered down from above, elegant lighting appears from the ceiling and the leather banquettes rotate to face the bar, cocooned by a sweeping silk curtain adorned with a golden dragon.

Creative solutions have also been employed in The Studio. Reclaimed mahogany flooring has been used to allow for the array of casual and formal activities that are to be held here, black velvet drapery can be pulled back to reveal an entire wall of antique mirror panels when a more glamorous atmosphere is called for, and inbuilt cupboards made from reclaimed English timber house the technical equipment for the cinema.

In other areas of the club, customised metal screens can be moved easily, giving 1880 the freedom and flexibility it requires.

For Timothy Oulton Studio, design is never just decoration. Authentic materials and craftsmanship are always the start. This is exemplified in the wine cellar forming the backdrop to Leonie’s restaurant. Burnt timber arches stand at just under 3m high, highly technical and time-intensive to produce. Multiple brass rods connect the arches, supporting 700 wine bottles, each one individually lit.

In the lobby, the Cabinet of Curiosities is filled with curios from Tim Oulton’s personal antiques collection, while in the members’ lounge, 360 antique English teapots are contrasted against a wall of reclaimed bricks etched with Chinese motifs. 1880 is built around the concept of colliding ideas, a place to forge unlikely connections. Old things need revisiting and rethinking, to be made relevant for today.

About Timothy Oulton Studio 

Timothy Oulton Studio is the interiors and construction design studio of Timothy Oulton, visionary founder of his eponymous furniture and interiors company.

The Timothy Oulton Studio has already completed a diverse range of end to end projects worldwide, including Gough’s on Gough restaurant in Hong Kong, Glazebrook House hotel in Devon, England, and the Lychee Garden in China.

Anastasia Hadjidemetri

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