Should you find yourself in Los Angeles starting April 2 with an appetite for celebration, bowling, and Wolfgang Puck’s cooking, you’d do well to befriend a member of the Britely, a multifaceted social club set to exquisitely articulate AD100 designer Martin Brudnizki’s vision of “Hollywood-inspired hyper glamour.” Nonetheless, the decorator himself is still waiting to set foot on the premises for the first time. “I haven’t actually seen the finished space because I’m not allowed to come to America, which is slightly problematic,” Brudnizki confesses from London, which is one of his eponymous design studio’s two home bases.
For many designers, such an arrangement would be more than slightly problematic. Thankfully, Brudnizki’s extensive portfolio includes bars, lounges, and clubs from Azerbaijan to Los Angeles—each its own well-articulated world. That includes design work for the Pendry West Hollywood, the boutique hotel within which the Britely can be found—although guests who are not members will not have access to the space. That familiarity—and a little liaising help from a former MBDS employee who’d relocated to L.A.—allowed Brudnizki and team to unite a club featuring two restaurants, a cocktail bar, a rooftop pool, and bowling lanes around a common aesthetic point of view.
For Brudnizki, that process starts with understanding the functional needs of a space likely to host cocktail tastings, wellness talks, and bowling tournaments. That informed a structural approach that respects the amenities and activities that would attract members to the Britely while incorporating what Brudnizki refers to as a sort of “built-in awkwardness” to foster chance encounters and moments of pleasant surprise.
According to Estelle Lacroix, managing director of lifestyle at the Britely, that feeds into the club’s desire to foster a community that isn’t siloed by personal or professional interests. In her vision, one is equally likely to take a yoga class on the Pendry’s helipad next to a local lawyer as to rub elbows with a music industry tastemaker. Naturally, that requires help from a designer who structures a space in the way that gives the people what they want.
“Martin did a phenomenal job in here, and it fits the ethos of what we’re trying to create in terms of celebration [and] community,” says Lacroix. “The design and the focus of the club really do amplify each other.” Fostering that climate of celebration is itself a celebratory act. Though Brudnizki consciously avoided locking into any one interior or cinematic reference point, classic Hollywood glamour, especially as it was articulated in the late ’40s and ’50s, was a source of guiding inspiration. That translates to a sort of heightened approach to Art Deco that manages to transport members to the past while existing outside of it, thanks in part to playful touches like animal print upholstery.