Located within The O2 in North Greenwich and supported by venue owners AEG, Brooklyn Bowl is a 32,000 sq ft multi-part entertainment venue, comprising a live music arena, a bowling alley, three bars and a restaurant overseen by award winning chef Bruce Bromberg.
Brooklyn Bowl opened its lanes for the first time in January 2014 and with its unique take on music and bowling it is already proving to be a sure fire hit.
Brooklyn Bowl was founded by Peter Shapiro and Charley Ryan, with the first site located in Williamsburg, USA, opposite the Wythe Hotel. A third Brooklyn Bowl venue is set to arrive in Las Vegas March 2014.
London-based architectural practice, Barr Gazetas, was responsible for the implementation of Brooklyn Bowl’s design concept, whilst G F Holding was the Design and Build contractor and David Bartlett was the project manager, with overall design inspiration taken from its New York sister venue. Keen to find out a little more about the new venue, Premier Hospitality caught up with G F Holding Commercial Director, Jeff Barton and Barr Gazetas Partner, Alistair Barr, to get the lowdown on the lanes.
“We have been working with AEG since 2004. Initially we worked on the Indigo 2, which was the live music venue, and since then we have worked on several projects within the O2. The initial brief was a two-stage tender, which meant we gave basic tendering information for the first stage and then we negotiated the second stage on the Design and Build contract.
“We have been trading since 1908 and work extensively in the leisure industries. We are experts on theatres and venues like The O2, so it was very exciting to be involved with a project like this.”
“We have a longstanding relationship with The O2, beginning in 2007 when we completed the public piazza which is located outside the venue. Over the following six years we continued to build upon this relationship with new projects taking place almost every year and most recently we were approached by AEG to work on this project.
“We met Brookyln Bowl initially about 13 months ago, with construction work beginning in June 2013 and completion on the project during the first week of January 2014. We had a couple of soft openings ahead of the official launch and so far the feedback for Brooklyn Bowl has been fantastic.”
The new venue is the second Brooklyn Bowl to open globally – the first in Europe – and presents a completely unique three-part leisure concept, where all activities are equally important. Brooklyn Bowl takes its kooky decorative design theme from its Brooklyn provenance and from amusement park Coney Island (circa 1930s), with design highlights including Chesterfield sofas and an oversized mirror ball.
The Coney Island theme is carried throughout the venue via signage, posters, lighting, furnishing and other decorative products. Almost all the furniture, fittings and finishes are custom designed and manufactured for Brooklyn Bowl by a team of artists and craftspeople, under the control of G F Holding, with a palette of materials that includes recycled timber and tin ceilings.
“There’s nothing quite like this in the whole of the UK; Brooklyn Bowl mixes bowling with music and good food. The venue’s offering broadens the customer base and as this is such a multi-functional space and just one Tube stop away from Canary Wharf, people who work close by will come here to make an event of their visit.”
Brooklyn Bowl includes twelve lanes, four of which run beneath the site’s iconic Quadropod –created in 1999 by Richard Rogers Partnership – and each lane includes flat screen monitors capable of streaming events and live gigs direct from The O2’s main stage. In an interesting twist on a familiar concept, bowlers are no longer required to change their footwear at the check in desk; instead bowling shoes are brought to them via supermarket baskets.
Graham Barton of Concept Electrical UK Ltd project managed the electrical infrastructure works, including data, fire & security alarm installations and lighting systems.
Commenting on his involvement, Concept Electrical UK Ltd Co-Owner, Graham Barton, said:
“This was an important project for us and we valued our involvement with our client. We have previously worked on projects at the O2, however due to the complexity of the venue the project offered a real challenge.”
The venue is as much about dining as it is about music and bowling, so the dining space has been carefully crafted to provide the perfect eatery to complement the game. The 125-cover restaurant can be accessed from either the main venue or from a separate door to the exterior, and includes banquette seating, egg whisk lamps, Coney Island’s Knock down pins and rows of jam jar lights.
Premier bands that perform in The O2 arena will hopefully play at Brooklyn Bowl, so the stage has been designed to the highest standards. A 500-person standing area has also been included, allowing bowlers and guests to watch bands from across the floor.
A state-of-the-art kitchen, capable of preparing all the fresh food at Brooklyn Bowl, has also been installed within the venue.
Chef Bromberg said:
“We created a superbly efficient and streamlined kitchen that delivers a quality of food never before experienced in a music or bowling venue. We aim to attract discerning diners who will judge us against some of the best restaurants in London.”
The creation of each distinctive area within Brooklyn Bowl certainly posed an incredible challenge to all the teams involved in making this new venue a reality.
Commenting on the work, Jeff said:
“There were a number of challenges on the project as Brooklyn Bowl is situated in the centre of the O2 and adjacent to the arena, resulting in high volumes of public visitors surrounding the construction site. Large extensions to the existing building envelope required extensive hoardings and a significant amount of structural steel work, meaning that managing health and safety on the project was a major task in itself.”
The completion of Brooklyn Bowl has been a fantastic achievement for G F Holding and Barr Gazetas and a project that both companies relished in.
“This really was an exciting project and feedback so far has been tremendous. During the last couple of weeks of the project we worked closely with AEG and Brooklyn Bowl, fine tuning the scheme to ensure that everything fits and works perfectly. This is a very high profile site and Brooklyn Bowl is certainly going to turn a few heads. It will provide a further attraction for visitors to the O2 and will certainly complement the existing offering.”
For more information on Brooklyn Bowl, please visit: www.brooklynbowl.com.
Bartlett Projects Ltd
Bartlett Projects Ltd specialise in project management, cost control and health and safety co-ordination for a vast array of leisure projects. David Bartlett has 30 years experience of construction projects and within this time has worked with many leading clients including AEG, O2, BBC, Sky, Williams F1 and Vodafone, amongst others.
Past projects for Bartlett Projects Ltd include Hammersmith Apollo, the Cutty Sark and a number of museums. Most recently, Bartlett Projects provided project management, cost consultancy and CDM health and safety co-ordination on the Brooklyn Bowl project.
David Bartlett, Bartlett Projects Ltd, said:
“At Bartlett Projects Ltd we pride ourselves on our ability to provide expert cost advice at the start of the project and a pro active involvement during the works.”
Schweiss Doors Europe Ltd
Schweiss Doors Europe Ltd specialise in the manufacture and supply of steel doors to the construction industry. The company manufacture all of its doors in the UK, whether its bi-fold or hydraulic doors, and supply to a diverse array of projects from aircraft hangars to leisure facilities.
Schweiss Doors Europe Ltd has more than 15 years experience in the industry and has worked with many leading clients, including Yorkshire Air Ambulance, London Zoo and Avignon Airport, amongst others. Working on Brooklyn Bowl, Schweiss Doors Europe Ltd supplied the venue with a new steel door.
Schweiss Doors Europe Ltd Sales Co-ordinator, Alison Nicholls, said:
“At Schweiss Doors Europe Ltd we manufacture all our doors in Telford, so it is really important to us that we are helping to retain manufacturing skills in the UK. We will soon be moving to a larger factory and this has also allowed us to take on some new apprentices, allowing us to get a new generation into the manufacturing process.”
“Working on projects like Brooklyn Bowl is important to us as it helps raise our profile and this was a great project to be a part of. We offer a bespoke service so that no door is standard.”
With offices in London and Surrey, Vanguardia Consulting is an award-winning audio visual and acoustic engineer specialising on projects in the entertainment and leisure industry. The company has been in operation since 2006 and within this time has worked on a vast array of projects including Royal Society House for the Royal Society of Arts in Central London and the O2 Arena.
Vanguardia Consulting has an ongoing association with Reading Festival and during 2012 worked on a number of projects for the London 2012 Olympics, including the Olympic Stadium, the Velodrome and Olympic Park. Most recently Vanguardia Consulting provided the audio visual and acoustic design work on Brooklyn Bowl at The O2, which included the design of all production systems for the venue.
Vanguardia Consulting Associate Director, Mark Murphy, said:
“Working on this project was fantastic. Brooklyn Bowl is the type of project which we love because the client loves music, understand what they want and are keen to create a great venue.
“We had a great opportunity to design high-end production systems which provides flexibility. This has been a challenge, but a rewarding challenge and we were very happy to be involved.”