A man cave can be more than just sports-bar-like escapism in your own home. Why not be a place of car worship too?…I suspect, like most men, looking back at what are the defining memories of an impressionable adolescence, Hollywood has a lot to answer for. They instil many lasting boyhood images of super heros and action adventurers that still creates a giddy stir of emotion (albeit a little more dignified in our later life than the hysteria of when you were a wide-eyed 9 year old) which captivates: Cartoon heros like Iron man and Batman’s bat cave with its collection of aggressive super-vehicles and the juxtaposition of the raw, dank and dark cave against cutting edge technology. Then of course there’s Bond’s cars and gadgets. There are many examples and it is a formula that continues to strike a cord generation after generation.
So when you’ve worked hard in your adult life and you have most of the spoils of a fruitful life, it’s only natural to indulge in a little ‘me time’. The more affluent will have taken the plunge to buy the poster sports car you dreamt about for occasional adventures of your own. Lets face it, this car is not the commuter or family practicality but pure indulgence of the heart and from the gut. Which to choose for that trophy? Maybe it’s easy and you’re simply harbouring back to that emotional poster you had as a kid, or a Top Trump favourite (!), or your childhood super hero’s getabout! For me a Lamborghini in either white or red was the blue-tacked bedroom wall favourite. Which ever brand and model stirs you the most there’s a heady mix of much more than mechanics. There’s something mesmerising about the look, the history, the fulfilments of actually owning a slice of your childhood dream. When you’re sitting in the cockpit all the stresses of the adult world are forgotten. You’re a big kid again with a huge grin.
But isn’t it a great shame, on those ‘not so super car friendly weather days’ when you’re not able to thrill yourself on the roads or track, this dream machine is forced to hide from sight. And where is this magical thing of beauty kept…stowed away under lock and key in a dowdy and basic garage? Out of sight until the sun is ready and your calendar allows.
Or… like our client
…do you want more time to celebrate the beauty of the raw power (without somuch as pressing the starter button) on as many days as you see fit and allow us to incorporate flamboyant automotive design by reinventing the ‘garage’ space as an area to celebrate and appreciate the ultimate boys toys on a regular (cold day) without a drop of British rain to spoil it? For one of our clients the opportunity was there to transform the rudimentary white blank car spaces of the existing underground garage into a luxurious games room, sports entertaining bar area. Whilst of course still functioning as a garage the hero automobile is placed in a near central viewing position on a slow spinning podium and under lights that give it the star status to envy the hot newcomer at the Geneva Motor Show.
For another client there was both a need to consider modest driveway space as well as security for his formidable automobile investments with a collection of rare new models and vintage. The solution was a special underground space and car lift taking these precious machines from a double driveway down to a 6 car underground room. The immaculate black flooring, walls along with a reflective black stretch ceiling (normally found over swimming pools) added incredible drama and allows the stars to shine with special architect-style spotlight focus wherever you’d prefer to shine. The space also manages to double-up as a photographic studio and adjoins the underground spa area. From ground level, you’d hardly believe this magic existed…giving an easy start to security as well as a place to admire and pamper your play things in the dry.
Want ultimate underground entertainment, prefer to leave the cars upstairs?
If you hanker for a dramatic mood change but have need to maximise your space for pure fun (keeping your vehicles above ground) we have created some incredible leisure suite scenarios. Take this 6,000 underground haven built beneath an unsuspecting and rather more subdued 200 year old farmhouse. This change of pace when you drop below ground to this ‘club’ feel with dark slate pool, steam/sauna, circular cinema, ship-like bar and dance area was deliberately to (as the client briefed us) “shock the in-laws” and create every day fun for this young family.
See the full house and more pictures here.
For one young man in his twenties, he wanted a basement space for entertainment as well as the gym section. The bar centrepiece was designed to be used as a display cabinet when not in use and come to life after hours with a very purple theme. The cinema room with sink-into sofa was to be almost hidden behind a sliding wall of dark wood.
We have also transformed a substantial and classical new build family home in St Georges Hill, Surrey to cater for wilder nights with an underground dance area (split level flooring) which doubles as a cinema area. Impressive bar, separate, pool, sauna and on looking gym area and detached staff quarters. All with a dramatic mood changing look in direct contrast to the classically formal and family friendly above ground living.
Inspiration from elsewhere
US designers tdSwansberg created this internal garage and man cave to house the owner’s beloved Ford Mustangs, Ferrari and Shelby
Looking at other examples why not incorporate a classic car as part of the seating like this by Matthew Thomas Architecture
The US’s Architects Cooper Johnson Smith had their work cut out incorporating this enviable collection to include a single seater plane no less!