How do you combine a hip-hop superstar’s personality, a sports bar and a champagne tower? That was the question facing designers from Jeffrey Beers Intl. (New York) when they sat down with hip-hop mogul Jay-Z and his business partner, Juan Perez, to plan a $10 million renovation for New York’s 40/40 Club.
The design team set out to create “the ultimate urban mansion, an extension of Jay-Z’s own style” according to Jeffery Beers’ project manager, Marc DeSmet.
Much like you might expect to find in one of the celebrity’s own residences, the renovated club houses leather upholstered seating, walnut millwork and wall paneling. Clean accents, including stainless steel and mirrors, provide a luxurious backdrop for eye-catching accents, including fiber-optic chandeliers and a glowing bar top. Club manager Sheldon Robinson says classic touches like dark wood panels and soft lighting “give you a welcoming, warm feel compared to the old design of the club.”
A wall installation made of golden baseball bats looks like fine art from a distance, further supporting the luxurious-mansion vibe. It’s also an allusion to the 40/40 name, which refers to the few, elite baseball players who have hit 40 homeruns and stolen 40 bases in a single season.
But sports aren’t the club’s only focus – guest experience is paramount. “It’s about creating a space you want to return to, a space that’s very comforting and relaxing,” says Kelly Hannon, a lighting designer at Focus Lighting (New York), which provided the lighting design for the project.
The 12,000-square-foot space has two floors connected by a stadium-style seating area that’s clad in white marble. Here, sports fans relaxing on banquettes can catch a game on four, 6-by-12-foot LCD screens above a central, illuminated amber-resin bar topped with a 20-foot-tall Armand de Brignac champagne tower. This brand of bubbly, known as “Ace,” is Jay-Z’s favorite. The champagne tower also provides one of the club’s most eye-catching features. “The glowing, sparkling tower is a good home for all of those TVs because it doesn’t overwhelm them,” Hannon says.
Playing on the idea of creating a residential setting, the lighting design team also installed indirect LEDs in ceiling arches and banquette toe kicks. “It’s really about the soft light coming in from the side that mimics the feel of having a table lamp next to you at home,” Hannon says.
VIP lounges on the second floor offer over-the-top everything, including extra-plush seating, premium sound systems and limited-edition sports memorabilia displays. Two of the five lounges are intimate spaces for up to 12 guests, while the remaining three are larger, offering more luxurious banquette seating and pool tables, for an exclusive hideaway.
The result is a renovated 40/40 Club that’s part sports bar, part upscale lounge and a little bit like home.
Design: Jeffrey Beers Intl., New York; Marc Desmet, Michael Pandolfi, Elizabeth Schlotzhauer, Brett John, Masako Fukuoka
Architecture: Metzger/Metzger Associates, New York
Contractor: Conelle Construction, New York
Lighting Design: Focus Lighting, New York
Engineering Consultant: Edwards & Zuck, New York
Purchasing Agent: The Parker Company, Miami, Fla.
Audio Visual: JD Audio & Video Design, Fort Lee, N.J.
Photography: Paul Warchol Photography Inc., New York
Stone/Tile: Cancos Tile & Stone, New York; Town & Country Flooring, New York
Custom Acrylic Resin Bar Top: Atta Inc., New York
Custom Bat Installation: Marucci Sports, Baton Rouge, La.
Custom Glass Tile Mosaics: SICIS, New York, N.Y.
Millwork: Elite Millwork, Brooklyn, N.Y.; GW Manufacturing, Ridgewood, N.Y.
Furniture: House of Esquire; Hempstead, NY; Marquis Seating, High Point, N.C.; Quality & Company Inc., Maple, Ont., Canada; Artco Intl.. Hawkesville, Ont., Canada
Custom Chandeliers: Preciosa Lighting, Czech Republic
Pool Table Lighting: Flos USA, New York
Lamps: Arteriors, Carrollton, Texas
Wallcoverings: Yangki Wallcoverings, San Francisco; Vinyl Wallcoverings, Koroseal, Fairlawn, Ohio
Upholstery: Innovations, New York; Architex Intl., Northbrook, Ill.; Pollack Associates, New York; Reid Witlin, Northridge, Calif.; Carnegie Fabrics, Rockville Centre, N.Y.; Swavelle, New York; Reid Witlin, Northridge, Calif.; Opuzen, Los Angeles
Art: Steiner Sports, New Rochelle, N.Y.
Framing: Empire Art Gallery, New York