Social club Edison House makes its mark on downtown Salt Lake City with a new building that’s as dynamic and diverse as the members it serves.

The brick building’s permeable and kinetic façade is composed of perforated bi-fold metal screens layered over horizontal sliding windows, Tursic explains. “These allow large sections of the façade to be either completely open, semi-open, or completely closed, depending on the intended function of each space and climatic conditions,” he says. Photo by Scot Zimmerman

Moving through Salt Lake City’s buzzy downtown area—past the bustling restaurants, lively clubs and lofty living spaces—you’d be forgiven for not immediately noticing a new addition to the neighborhood. Recently built along 200 West and just a block east of Pioneer Park, is a modern, black steel-and-brick building designed with expansive windows overlooking its urban setting. What it doesn’t have is high-voltage signage or commercial come-ons. Instead, a polished metal E on the entry wall discreetly identifies the three-story structure as Edison House, the city’s newest social club created by brothers and Salt Lake natives Charlie Cardon and George Cardon-Bystry. The duo tapped HKS to design the structure and Okland Construction to build it. 

Discreet signage identifies the building as Salt Lake’s newest private social club, Edison House. The collaborative design team used the founders’ vision for the club to drive its overall design. Photo by Scot Zimmerman.

“Edison House challenges the traditionally homogenous and exclusive social club typology by creating a diverse community that is welcoming and inclusive of all demographics,” HKS architect Emir Tursic explains. To express this architecturally, he and his team deconstructed the structure’s solid brick massing, reminiscent of vernacular warehouse architecture, and created an innovative façade that is open and welcoming. “It’s also contextual and contemporary,” he says. Club founder Cardon defines the exterior as chic and quietly confident. “It isn’t immediately eye-catching or flashy in any way, which reflects our identity as a private members club. But when you step back and look at it, it’s like ‘damn that’s a cool building.’”

A striking ceiling crowns the main level’s open bar area, where marble countertops, brass fixtures, antiqued mirrors and buff-colored leather stools define its chic style. Photo by Scot Zimmerman.

That confidence continues inside the 30,000 square-foot clubhouse, but with more obvious swagger. Composed of three levels of high-style gathering spaces, Edison House was designed for a diverse and discerning membership that socializes, networks and enjoys amenities and activities throughout the day and evening. These occur in a uniquely elevated style, which the founders mapped out with the help of Avenue Interior Design in Los Angeles. 

“We took our lead from the architecture,” says lead project designer MacKenzie Bergeron.  “We wanted to embrace the industrial nature of the sophisticated brick structure, but elevate it a bit to make it more luxurious and sumptuous.”

Bold design transforms Edison House’s three-story elevator shaft into a monolithic pillar at the center of the main staircase. Photo by Scot Zimmerman.

A striking staircase anchors the interior, connecting the three levels as it winds around an elevator shaft theatrically clad in black ceramic tile enhanced by a skylight and an array of shimmering brass wall sconces.“Staircases can often be tedious, but we wanted to make this dramatic,” Bergeron explains. On each level, natural light floods the clubhouse, courtesy of broad banks of west-facing windows overlooking the street and urban views. 

The light-filled, main-level l lounge stylishly welcomes members into the clubhouse. the o9pen room features a spacious sitting and gathering area, an elegantly appointed bar and Society, the club’s fine dining restaurant overseen by chef Buzz Willey. Photo by Scot Zimmerman.

While a sense of high-style luxury defines the interior, unique decors differentiate the many inviting spaces. “We designed every room to be a different experience,” Cardon says. On the main level, for example, a traditional-leaning lounge welcomes members with its chevron-patterned wood floor, brass-accented ceiling lights and elegant sitting and work areas. Nearby, an open bar adorned with shimmering metals, antiqued mirrors and a canopy-like ceiling treatment sits between the open lounge and Society, the club’s restaurant overseen by chef Buzz Willey. Nearby, a smaller private dining room cocoons guests in dark paneling, colorful art and gold-velvet chairs. “There are so many moments in this building,” Bergeron explains. “Each space has its own identity and each is a jewel box.”

A hand-painted vintage piano joins posh velvet-upholstered walls–detailed with a press-for-champagne button–to drive the piano room’s opulent decor. Photo by Scot Zimmerman.

The second-level piano room is certainly a gem, with its plush velvet upholstered walls, leaf-patterned custom carpet, lux furnishings and a hand-painted vintage piano. “It’s my favorite space,” admits Cardon, who is an accomplished pianist and can sometimes be found tickling the ivories in the intimate gathering space. Similarly compelling, the nearby speakeasy is cloaked in dark moody gray and boasts a performance stage and retro bar. Hits of shimmering brass, tufted leathers, gold velvets and layered antique rugs foster the space’s decidedly cozy, clubby vibe. 

Anchoring the second level, a large, sports bar-like space features a wrap-around bar, hight-top tables and relaxed sitting set-ups. Wood slats clad the high ceiling while mixed wood-and-tile flooring and a custom wall mural by Hatters Studios energize the color-charged room. Photo by Scot Zimmerman.

To create the clubhouse’s primary social hub, the team of pros fashioned a sports bar-like space that anchors the second level. They outfitted it with a high, slatted wood ceiling, wrap-around bar, ceiling-mounted TVs and generous seating—from blue leather bar stools to brass-based swivels and laid-back lounge chairs. Patterned floor tiles and an exuberant wall mural by Hattas Studios amplify the lively space’s upbeat style.

Members ascend to the third level, where bold architecture and city views infuse an outdoor space composed of a broad terrace, rooftop pool and open-air bar. Photo by Scot Zimmerman.

The top floor greets members with panoramic views of the city skyline, enjoyed from a ballroom as well as a spacious terrace, sparkling pool and rooftop bar. Cushioned lounges, relaxed sling chairs and fabric-draped daybeds beckon members to indulge in outdoor bliss. Classic stripes, lively palm prints and a palette of  saturated coral and teal tones drive the decor. “It’s very fresh and summery,” Bergeron says.  

Photos by Scot Zimmerman.

For members, the clubhouse does exactly what its founders intended from the get-go. “It facilitates connections and community,” Cardon says. And it does this in spaces that are exciting and engaging, yet comfortably familiar. Bergeron explains, “We wanted guests to feel at home—a very luxe and high-end home. That’s Edison House.” 

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Brad Mee
Brad Mee is the Editor-in-Chief of Utah Style & Design Magazine.