The Prem Group has unveiled the newly renovated ballroom at the four star Osprey Hotel in Naas, Co. Kildare.

The €1m renovation was designed by celebrity architect and star of RTE’s Home of the Year, Hugh Wallace of Douglas Wallace Architects.

Stretching to almost 6,000 sq ft, the function room, located just off the main lobby area, has been a popular venue for many years for weddings, local events, conferences, and post Punchestown racing festivities.

Looking to attract more weddings, the owners wanted an elegant and contemporary multifunctional space which would become known as one of the finest ballrooms in Leinster.

Hugh Wallace, together with his colleagues Damian Meehan and Katie Jakkulla, set about creating a light, airy function space that could be used for weddings, gala dinners, large events, or conferences.

“When Prem Group asked us to redesign the function facilities at the Osprey, we relished the challenge,” said Hugh Wallace.  “The design was inspired by The Great Gatsby and The Roaring Twenties, a time that was renowned for glamourous parties and celebrations.  We reconfigured the existing ballroom and created a meaningful and practical connection with the central courtyard, extended the pre function space and designed a brand new bar. We felt that the mezzanine floor and staircase to an underutilised area above the main function space both blocked the courtyard light and closed the space in.

“The mezzanine floor was removed and huge double height floor to ceiling glass was installed on the wall to the courtyard which allows the space to take advantage of the landscaped outdoor space and to be flooded with natural light. The double height ceilings and the addition of stunning light fittings has now added more than just a flourish of elegance to the room.”

There are nods to the 1920s art deco style throughout the room and can be seen in the wall mounted lighting fixtures, brass, mirrors and glass.

The centre piece of the design is the bar, situated in the pre function area to the left of the room as you enter.  Bevelled mirrors bedeck the back of the bar which is finished with brass framed shelving while a stunning granite countertop completes the look.

“We chose a mixture of materials to create the style we wanted to achieve,” said Katie Jakkulla of Douglas Wallace, “we wanted the space to feel glamourous but elegant and cool at the same time. To achieve this, we combined various textures such as the book matched Piracema White Granite on the countertop with glass, brass, wood, and lightweight fabrics. The granite has tiny rivulets of grey and white running through it and there are very subtle hints of pink in the natural stone, a colour we picked up in the soft furnishings. The herringbone wooden floor in the bar area is practical and adds warmth to the hard materials while the use of pattern is very subtle and understated. This means the space will provide a neutral backdrop for all kinds of future events or particular wedding themes.”

The decision was taken not to include a permanent stage or dance floor in order to allow the guests to have complete control over where they would like to position these large items.

Jim Murphy, CEO of Prem Group, said: “It was important for us to have a space that would not provide any challenges or constraints.  Permanent fixtures such as stages, podiums and dance floors mean that people have to work around a room rather than the room working to their requirements. Our stage and dancefloor are completely mobile and can be installed anywhere in this space. There are also no large columns which makes the new ballroom much more versatile for wedding couples and event organisers. It is a really spacious room and can accommodate 420 people, theatre style or 350 people at round tables. We are very pleased with the end result; it includes everything that our discerning guests would expect and more and we look forward to welcoming our future wedding couples and guests to our new ballroom as they celebrate their special occasions with us.”

The Osprey ballroom has also been fitted out with the latest in high-tech audio-visual equipment.

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