Bollinger Design approached the remodel of the Denver Petroleum Club as a problem-solving project. The Club management and Board of Directors wanted to infuse some new life and elegance into the space and change the habits of members at the same time. The huge dining room with a full western exposure and full view of the Front Range was the preferred place for business lunches by members but there weren’t enough members taking advantage of the amenities to fill the cavernous space. It was much more profitable to rent the space out to the public for parties, weddings and receptions but that meant creating a better space for the members to lunch. There was a smaller dining room side that was used for breakfasts so the intent was to redesign the smaller side and make it the new dining area for lunches and dinners.
Knowing that the members were used to having this spectacular view, the design team reoriented the focus of the room by turning all of the furnishings and the bar on a 45-degree angle to better take advantage to the views. With the shifted orientation, the views from the new space were as magnificent as the cavernous room. To further the enticement of the “new” space, BDG designed a library featuring a beautiful mantle and electric fireplace, complete with easy chairs, books and art. The inspiration for the library was an image of an English gentleman’s club. The space encourages long conversations over brandy—perhaps complete with some deal-making.
The bar in the original club was a stand-up affair so the design team expanded into a full service sit down area and included tables around the perimeter for late lunches or after work cocktails. The glass partitions in the new dining room were re-purposed from the old breakfast area and reset in oak to match the other new wood work, replacing the original brass. Since we needed more glass than was available, we commissioned new glass using the ideas and motifs from the original. In the end, there was no way to tell which was the old and which the new.
The spectacular Denver views were framed with the formal window treatment along the northwest and north east walls. Custom sandblasted glass with a mountain scene kept the bus station out of patrons’ view and allowed light from the windows to flow into the large bar.
The result was a a wonderful place for lunch, dinner and drinks for members, while freeing up the big dining room for paying events.