The Design Practice by UBER set about creating a car ‘trophy cabinet’, to take the very finishes from inside these stunning vehicles and translate them onto the walls of the garage together with some bespoke hotel inspired materials.
Following the completion of the main house and its enjoyment for a year or two the client realised that there was a fundamental piece of the jigsaw missing from the lifestyle he had created. Looking out onto the driveway hinted at the missing component. Our client’s collection of sports cars sat on a driveway in the affluent south Manchester suburb where the weather was not always as pretty as the cars themselves.
The cars were isolated, hardly ever garaged as a result of an awkward entry point to the garage itself which involved reversing back up a steep driveway to get the cars out. From within the blank canvas space there was the usual hoarding of garage paraphernalia and wheelie bins to negotiate and for remodelling consideration there were some fundamental construction obstacles to overcome. Not least there were two huge structural columns which were positioned awkwardly in the space.
The floor to ceiling heights were already on the low side and yet we needed to get air conditioning and fresh air into the space. We then had the challenge of allowing for the cars to turn and enter and exit the space comfortably (rather than reversing up the drive) as well as providing a break between the garage space and living space that met with building regulations.
The wish list then evolved to include a moody underground club feel entertaining space where our client could play pool in the glamour of a subterranean bar and watch the football with his mates. He wanted the space to feel like an exciting break from the every day and quickly caught the technology bug desiring to push the boundaries within a tight pre-built space wanting luxury, intrigue and showmanship.
The space planning was critical and the task was to provide a feast for the eyes in a journey from the staircase leading off the main hallway in the house down into this space. A journey that hinted at a change of pace juxtaposing the clean and light-filled ambience of the rooms directly surrounding the stairwell, enticing you down. As you descend one almost anticipates the pull of something spectacular looming and you arrive at an oversized tinted pivot glass door with huge hand-made crushed metal handle. The view beyond is both unexpected and overwhelming.
Curved and tinted floor to ceiling glass surrounds an illuminated turntable on which sits proudly the most beautiful yet aggressive of the client’s vehicles, spectacularly lit as if the hero item in a priceless gallery.
Once we had decided on using a glass encased car turntable for both the visual impact and also to provide that element of practicality, we then had the challenge of working with engineers and a superb solution-driven builder to plane out just enough from the structural slab to not undermine the integrity of the floor but give us the levels we required to successfully sink the turntable and maintain a flush floor.
The circular ceiling feature that sits above the turntable was a masterpiece in design and engineering in itself. Weighing over a ton and being suspended from a heavily clustered ceiling full of pipe work and cabling, it needed a great deal of thought. In the design intent it was critical that we achieved a glow from the amber back-lit precious quartz that we had set our hearts on using together with a smoked mirrored central section to show the car off and reflect across the roofline.
However, the weight of the stone was substantial and proved a problem for use in the ceiling detail as well as the fact that the waste material would have been enormous. We managed to get the slabs of the precious stone to site and once correctly illuminated we photographed the pieces and then printed the high resolution image onto lightweight acrylic to use on the ceiling section. This was highly successful and the faux material works harmoniously with the real precious stone in the bar and wine cabinet areas, something that would have been almost impossible to achieve had we not photographed and used the same pieces.
The car turntable was designed to be controlled by custom designed Crestron wall panels to create a bespoke “man-cave” feel. The system shows the exact rotational position of the car on the turntable. With a simple swipe, the car can be rotated to specific angles to show off its best side in a pre-set positions or simply spin 360° for “look at me” appeal. And when the system is not in use the vehicle will always come to rest pointing outwards, towards the garage entrance for fast drive away convenience.
Due to sensors in the car and driveway, as the homeowner simply approaches the home’s lighting, heating and music systems fires into life matching the predetermined preferences of the particular car that has arrived.
There are sensors on every door within the man-cave, which not only enhance safety (the turntable won’t operate if the door is open), but also notifies the owner if the wine cellar door is left open.
A hedonistic celebration incorporating a man cave chill out space with a sports car shrine.
When you hear the words Man Cave we mean it in a positive way – we know it can conjure up quite unsavoury concoction of smokey, alcohol-fuelled and potentially pungent and dimly lit rooms that pass as a hideaway for ‘the big game’ with the boys, or a that special ‘poker night’ in. Well, this ‘man cave’ is a little more civilised… think more like Iron Man’s underground tech den as we up the senses all round. We start with the visual by creating more of a homage to the automobile by staging a super car on a slowly rotating podium centre stage. Yes all the ingredients are there for some serious ‘boys nights in’; the bespoke pool table, home cinema entertainment, the chill out area and the bespoke bar with dark grey cut mirror backs. But there’s a complete air of refinement more akin to a gentleman’s club than a sports dive bar: the bespoke backlit quartz wine cabinets, the leather clad (and eels skin) walls,polished paster ceilings and floor and the circular glass encasement for that star car attraction.
Take a look at the before and after shots and you’ll see we had fun turning this blank canvas of a garage into a place to worship for that special four-wheeled speed daemon purchase.
We are gaining something of a reputation for creating these escapism underground spaces. Please read more of our project when our client was interviewed by the Financial Times ‘How To Spend It’ magazine along with a 4 minute video. Read our round up news article or the full FT story.
Also we like to report the wider perspective of what people are requesting in the world of manacles for not just our clients.
Man caves News article