Project 52 – Setting the bar
Twelve months ago, Project 52 was just an concept. An idea for a bar that anyone could come to, a space that could open with its own distinct personality and evolve into an institution. One year and 52 partner members later and the Waterloo Lane bar is open for business.
Walk down Waterloo Lane and Project 52 isn’t what you’d expect to find halfway up a cobbled street and hidden between the restaurant kitchen back doors. Look out for the door buzzer which marks the entrance to a public bar and lounge that’s open to everyone, with a private just-for-members’ area on the top floor – Project 52 is a place to gather, relax and network whether you’re a member or not.
The renovation of the old Portuguese Club took several months, with a complete interior remodel from Waddington Architects. Stuart Dryden, senior interior designer for Waddington explains:
“The final design of the bar takes inspiration from the contemporary and industrial yet lived in aesthetics of Soho House clubs, mixing rustic concrete and scaffold features with rich oily blue and peacock green colouring, copper leafing and pre-worn wooden flooring. It’s familiar yet strikingly modern.”
To add a distinct personality, the owners have worked with local creatives, antiques and retro curiosity curators and artists like Abi Overland, whose panther illustrations hang in the members’ lounge.
Stuart Dryden adds:
“Waddington worked in collaboration with the founding members to create a space that would feel as if you’re stepping into your ‘home away from home’. Through considered use of colour, material, carefully chosen accessories and strong design elements, each room of the club has its own subtle identity.”
Project 52’s first floor bar and lounge is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 11pm and anyone’s welcome to enjoy the space for daytime coffee and a chance to catch up with some work in a quiet environment – or evening drinks. There’s also a selection of meat and cheese platters available all day. The bar team is led by Cristian Benta, previously of London’s Arts Club with a diverse range of craft ales, artisan spirits and specially selected wines supplied by Love Wine.
The bar and first floor lounge are public, but Project 52 members have access to the second floor private members’ lounge and screening room, as well as the opportunity to take over the bar and hold their own events for one week each year.
Founder member Oliver Mourant said:
“Project 52 was created to be a place for like-minded people to gather, network and enjoy something a little bit different, and we’re delighted to have reached our first milestone of fifty two members across a wide range of industries from finance, communications, media, design, art and architecture. Project 52 began as an idea for a drinking space that would open with its own personality, and could evolve into an institution thanks to the determination, drive and diverse skills of our members. We look forward to seeing Project 52 develop its character further with a calendar of member takeover weeks and collaborations through the year.”
When Dara, Dan, Luke and Olly approached Whittinghams Interiors, they were delighted. Opportunities like Project 52 are increasingly rare. The design and creation of unique interiors is one which Whittinghams are ideally placed to deliver.
“Every client has a unique request”
……this was certainly the case with Project 52. Creating an individual, stylish interior, from a dilapidated, somewhat quirky old building in a St. Helier backstreet, whilst working with a reasonably modest budget, is just the kind of challenge Whittinghams Interiors relish.
By working in partnership with the Project 52 team and Waddington Interiors, Whittinghams Interiors’ in-house product design and manufacturing teams succeeded in delivering client expectations and creating a very special new venue.
Whittinghams Interiors are very proud with the completed scheme and wish everyone involved every success.