Omeara is the brainchild of Mumford & Sons musician, Ben Lovett. Designed by Align, a fast-moving and fast-growing agency, the exciting new 350-capacity live music venue, bar and performance space in Flat Iron Square has now opened its doors to the public.
Flat Iron Square, blends music, food, entertainment and culture together across seven railway arches and Devonshire House, a Grade II listed building in the heart of London’s Bankside. Omeara encompasses three of these arches.
Ben Lovett commented ‘I’ve been playing and putting on shows in London for my entire adult life. Without the grass-roots music venues in this city, the band and I simply wouldn’t have achieved what we have, so I have a lot to be grateful for. Over the last few years, London has lost so many of its brilliant music establishments and I want to do what I can to try and reverse that decline.’
Omeara features a music venue, a separate live performance area, four bars, a green room, two artist dressing rooms and a roof garden and is part of a new larger development called The Low Line and this intimate new venue will offer fantastic views over the nearby Shard and is a great addition to London’s night-time scene.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan gave his support to the project saying commented ‘Growing London’s cultural sector is one of my core priorities, and this includes supporting grassroots music venues. These venues, which are the lifeblood of our music scene, are often under threat, so I’m delighted to see Ben Lovett opening an exciting new destination for live music fans. I know Omeara will be a massive success, helping fresh new talent to make their mark in the capital, and have their music heard. This type of initiative is exactly what the capital needs.’
Nigel Tresise of align commented: ‘What’s particularly great about this project is that the interconnected arches create opportunities for drama and zoning whilst still functioning as an overall venue. Not only are all public areas fully accessible, but full thought and care has been given to the whole suite of facilities, from the new-build courtyard block at the front, where the box office, toilets, merchandising closet and roof garden are located, to the mezzanine ‘green room’ artists’ area. There’s no comparison between this and the typical pub-basement type small venues you usually find in London. Ben is not only a very hands-on client, but also has a great eye for detail and has really put a lot of time and consideration into every aspect of the venue.’
Overall, the interior treatment evokes a once-glorious past, with a fairly beaten-up aesthetic, including reclaimed elements such as decorative panels made up of wrought-iron table legs.
With an estimated 40% of live music venues in London shutting down in the last decade, Ben hopes that opening Omeara will prove the start of resurgence of new intimate music settings. “I think it is really sad. It is so important for bands. Mumford and Sons wouldn’t exist without the London club scene”
‘It has been a hugely collaborative project in order to realise Ben’s vision of ‘distressed Havana’’ for the interior look, Nigel Tresise added, ‘with many elements of the decoration curated by branding specialists Studio Juice, who have worked with Ben on a number of Mumford & Sons projects. Once we had created the main venue space, we handed over to legendary set designer Dick Bird whose ornate stage proscenium and wall finishes were implemented by Scott Fleary Productions. Bar joinery specialists Fantastic Bars created the bars, whilst Cantilever supplied the specialist bar equipment and Nancy Nicholson created the incredible distressed paint effects for the walls, with layer after layer of paint added and then partially-removed to achieve just the right look.’
Photography credits Alastair Lever and Georgina Jackson