words Johanna Agerman
After three years of planning and building the suitably named Paramount member’s club opened on the top three floors of Richard Seifert’s Centre Point this week. Tom Dixon is responsible for the furniture while Murphy Philips worked as the architectural consultants on this project that finally makes use of one of London’s greatest 1960s landmarks, a building long abandoned and much contested.
“The original plan for Centre Point was to have a restaurant on the top floor, but it was never implemented,” explains Mark Way, one of the architectural consultants for the Paramount club. Instead the top floors of Centre Point have housed offices, arguably with the best views in London. “What’s great is that you have a 360 degree clear view. There are no obstructions,” says Way.
The views are clearly the selling point of the club and the interiors are therefore quite subdued, as to not distract the attention too much. It is also trying to stay in tune with the heritage of the building “We wanted to create something that feels that it has always been part of the building without being nostalgic,” explains Tom Dixon, whose centre piece for the club is a bespoke copper bar – a beautifully undulating shape that seems more sculptural than practical.
The club houses an events space on the 31st floor, restaurant and lounge areas on the 32nd floor and a viewing gallery and champagne bar on the 33rd floor. But despite finally making use of one of London’s greatest spaces the Paramount Club won’t be open to the public. And memberships are hard to come by, with Brunswick Group CEO Alan Parker and actor Stephen Fry on the membership committee, Mark Way hasn’t got one himself yet. “But I’m not so worried. I know the manager very well by now and can pop in any time I want.”