The revamping of Movida nightclub on London’s Argyll Street is now complete and its replacement; Mason House is now open.
The new venue has gone down a storm in the party capital, seeing the likes of Beyonce and Jay-Z dance the night away inside the transformed underground club.
Located directly below the London Palladium the venue is ideally situated in the heart of the west end. Premier Hospitality caught up with Eamonn Mulholland, the General Manager, Director, and a shareholder in Mason House, to find out more about the project. He said:
“Movida had done very well having run as a commercial nightclub in London for eight years; this in itself is a big achievement but as with all things times change and peoples demands to be entertained become greater. The inspiration for Mason House materialised after we discovered the history of Argyll street and buildings which once stood on it dating back to 1761 before the London Palladium was even built.”
The venue used to be owned by the Duke of Argyll who was a Mason as were the individuals who lived in the surrounding properties. Eamonn told us that modern music influences were behind the inspiration in Mason House; this style of redesign was used in their other nightclub Beat which is a pure after hour’s club house.
Assisted by Adrian Abel from architects Tibetts, Eamonn and the team brought the venue back to its Masonic roots. They found out that the venue used to hold a lot of brick archways, especially in the 1980s when the space was used as a waxwork museum.
The team were keen to redesign the venue in line with its old look which included an array of impressive brick vaulted ceilings and crypt-like design. Eamonn said that when guests walk into Mason House’s entrance the walls have been made to look like sandstone blocks and are adorned with numerous gilt framed mirrors of various different shapes and sizes.
The mirrors were imported from France and Belgium after being sourced by an antique dealer. Guests can then descend two flights of polished concrete steps which boast a wrought iron handrail before they will reach the venue.
At the bottom of the stairs guests are greeted with two sets of brick archways to the left and right, as well as an impressive doorway which has been designed in the style of the All Seeing Eye. In all of the archways wrought iron gates give way to old pictures from France and Belgium and candelabras which constantly burn pillar candles all adding to the clubs Masonic feel.
Guests will then enter the venue’s Cloakroom which has been made to look like an old black marble fireplace. In the Club Room there is a raised mosaic decorated dance floor .
To the right of the main club area an impressive oak bar is situated, spanning six and a half metres and adorned with antique mirrors and lighting. The club space also boasts an impressive array of exclusively commissioned neon artwork and a gothic themed DJ Booth. In addition to the main room, Room 33 offers an alternative music space, with a secret door operating on an invitation only basis.( to be launched after the summer )
“We are always looking to see how we can change and improve the venue; at the end of April we are going to relocate the bar into a more central area. This will allow people to view the dance floor and DJ whilst they are sat or stood at the bar.
“We always want to find out what works best and we have discovered that the bars location currently doesn’t work effectively enough, as it doesn’t keep people at the bar involved in the rest of the club. Despite these alterations I feel the project has gone very well and as a result we have a much more adult club; where the average age starts at about 25.”
Mason House offers bottle and waitress service for 30 tables in a 415 person capacity space, as well as drink service from the club’s main bar. Eamonn said that the project was aided greatly by the situation of a back door exit on Ramilies Place which ensured the materials were easy to get in.
The only slight issues that main contractor Abbeyview had with the materials was the manoeuvring and erection of 16 pieces of steel into the underground club. The workers had to use hoists to manoeuvre nine tonnes of steel into the building.
Abbeyview Services Ltd has an impressive portfolio history and so were ideally placed to transform Movida into Mason House. Abbeyview Services Ltd covers the majority of trades within the construction industry through their Construction and Carpentry Divisions. The firm’s construction arm offers an array of services including design and build packages through to simple building projects.
They have worked with numerous well known clients including Bigwood Properties, Basilico Pizza Ltd, Beat Nightclub, The Yard Bar and iPro Developments Ltd. They can meet the requirements of clients undertaking large or small projects with a variety of budgets, designs and complexities.
The firms Carpentry Division offers all levels of carpentry from pitching new hand cut roofs to fitting skirtings around the perimeter of rooms. Their highly experienced team of carpenters has the ability to overcome most problems and the knowledge to ascertain what is achievable or not.
The team worked alongside English Heritage during the project in order to ensure it was safe to knock down numerous of the buildings walls and erect a large amount of steel in the space. Works began on the project in August 2013 and was fully completed for the projected opening date of 25th October 2013.
We caught up with Kevin Lewis, the Director of Abbeyview Services Ltd, to find out what it meant to be involved in this project:
“Having been in operation for 17 years we have worked on numerous projects. It was great however to work on Mason House which is situated underneath such a big landmark as the London Palladium. We mastered the technique of removing major structures underneath the Palladium which is quite risky, and managed to execute these practices well.
“We acted as the main contractor on this project and met the tight contract period in just over three months. We pride ourselves on meeting deadlines and staying within a client’s budget.”
Eamonn said a quick turnaround time of three months was decided on because it is a costly business being closed for a long time. They also wanted to achieve this so they could open in October and tap into the Christmas market.
The recent visit of Beyonce and Jay-Z to Mason House saw the venue highlighted 1.2 Billion times and acted as a ringing endorsement of the clubs success. Eamonn said:
“The power couple used to come to Movida often and so it was lovely for them to see Mason House. They loved the new venue and their visit definitely boosted our popularity and prominence in the market.”
“People have told us that the venue looks nothing like Movida which is exactly what we were trying to achieve. We have relocated the venues stairs and so guests are now led a completely different way through the space now.”
Mason House is available exclusively to members, their guests and a limited guest list who can all listen to a soundtrack of the world’s best DJ’s. Mason House is also available for private event hire and can be tailored to suit a host of different celebrations including birthday and Christmas parties, sit down dinners, fashion shows and PR showcases.
Mason House staff are able to create the perfect food and drink combinations to compliment any clients event. Bespoke beverages can also be concocted by a team of experienced mixologists; with a menu of the world’s finest champagne and spirits Mason House is perfectly equipped to bring clients dreams to reality. The Mason House kitchen can also provide a selection of sumptuous canapés and tailored catering to satisfy peckish party-goers.