Bangalore Polo Club

Location /  Christchurch

People Involved / Paul Izzard Design Ltd

Photography / Mark Scowen 

Christchurch’s iconic Bangalore Polo Club reopens with an interior richly layered with timbers, leathers and collectibles by Paul Izzard Design, transporting guests back in time.

Entered through a discrete side door, the Bangalore Polo Club in Christchurch plays on its fabulously fictitious identity and history as a private colonial sports club. The moody, timber and leather interior is filled with period glassware, ceramics, objects and polo paraphernalia – an opulent layering extended by the club’s theme song, a ‘history’ of events and tournaments, and a nostalgic cocktail list and menu.

Starting with a brand new concrete shell, the first task for interior designer Caz Macdonald from Paul Izzard Design was to create heritage layers for the intimate scale and ambience of a speakeasy venue. Tucked away off the busy street, it has the feeling of being slightly exclusive and secretive, and the interior design has played to this sense of fun and theatre.

‘We designed a detailed false ceiling and textured wall linings, adding rich layers of leathers, tiles and aged timbers,’ says Caz. ‘Rusty tones and materials, red and green silk light shades all create a unique night-time venue that glows with colours and patinas from another era.’

Transforming a modern industrial shell into a colonial-era club meant finding old and new materials to create a feeling of history and authenticity. Materials and objects salvaged from the first Bangalore mean a direct connection with the original – horse-riding saddles, cut glassware, artworks, photos, collectibles, marble tiles and wallpaper. A special order of European oak engineered flooring from VidaSpace provided a pre-finished sanded and smoked texture. All these elements add to the narrative and breathe new life into the iconic club, which has been reconstructed as a characterful venue for Christchurch.