Initially looking for a refresh of their gaming areas after seven years, The Shellharbour Club’s original design plans were disrupted by the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus switched to creating space between machines by adding wider banks and improving privacy for patrons. Sixteen machines were also removed from the original plan by the designer.
With approximately 1,000 square metres of gaming facilities and 248 machines, the pre COVID-19 plan for the club was to repaint, refresh the screens and replace the carpet. The venue has worked a number of times with designer Chris Wright. But this time, the project not only called for more space between machines, but for custom screens designed by Altis Architecture to enhance the rooms’ feng shui. These were custom-made by Capital Design Works, being a combination of Capital’s Jamaican and Cayman screen designs with a bespoke pattern on the inside. A standout feature is the use of screens as machine backing boards, rather than plain boards.
A project like this typically takes six to eight weeks to complete, with an installation time of two or three days. Most of the work involves making modular screen components in the factory. However, the change of plans due to COVID-19 meant closer collaboration with designers and architects over a longer period. Changes to the design had to be assimilated quickly to meet the club’s reopening date of June 1, and the week before reopening was a rush to deliver the new space on time, according to the gaming operations manager. “The Capital Works installer was there for countless hours throughout the night. He was extraordinary and instrumental in delivering on time” he said.
Project feedback has been very positive since the club reopened its gaming facilities on June 1. The cramped approach to lining up banks of machines has been replaced with a spacious facility with an emphasis on privacy, comfort and good feng shui. Some 200 people can now occupy the gaming floor without feeling hemmed in. The Shellharbour Club’s new approach to space and privacy has been a hit with members, heralding a new design philosophy for gaming room interiors.