Workbook: To the Manor Born

For the nightclub Hooray Henry’s, architect John Sofio, of Built, created a space reminiscent of an English house. Image courtesy Elizabeth Daniels Photography.What do Prince George and a West Hollywood nightclub have in common? Plenty, it turns out. When wanted to refresh a location on Beverly Boulevard, the firm teamed again with architect John Sofio, of Built. It was right around the time of the royal baby’s birth and British style seemed to be in the air. “We wanted to do something that had that mod feeling, to transport you to another time and place,” says Sofio. In refining the concept, he hit on the idea of an English manor being overtaken for a wild night and Hooray Henry‘s was born.

To conjure a the atmosphere of a stately home, and, in a departure from most nightclub design and in a 180 from the space’s previous look, Sofio went for a sense of warmth. The foyer is lined with vintage photos—“It’s a time portal, you step into,” he says—and the roof slopes down. “It hugs you a bit and then opens to a living room.” Display cabinets around the bar feature more photographs and objects that suggest a life lived,” he notes, and a trophies fill a small niche (actually won by Sofio’s wife’s grandfather, a British cycling champion).

Telegraphing British-ness, Sofio opted for subtly rather than overt Union Jack–type imagery. Lasers are in red and blue, deployed as the energy of the night builds, and the bathroom hallways are covered in a black-and-white design that immediately suggests Abbey Road’s album cover.  References to English cars also appear: Sofio used automotive paint in an exact match of Jaguar’s iconic blue. For the banquettes, he based their design on the seats in Rolls-Royce’s Silver Shadow, they’re backed in Kevlar, though, to stand up to the high heels of revelers. It all adds up to an unexpectedly intimate and unique experience. Says Sofio, “You don’t see this kind of detailing in nightclubs.”

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