|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 6, Tuesday, August 3, 2004|
KINGS, commoners, presidents, madmen, ladies, gentlemen and maybe even criminals have been playing this game. Billiards knows a rich history. They name Billiards probably comes from two French words "bille" from ball and "art" from arts. The game has its origin in Northern Europe, probably France, where it was played as an outdoor game in the 15th century. Due to weather conditions the game moved indoors to a wooden table, which was dressed with a green carpet, to resemble grass, and a slat around the sides. The balls where pushed instead of punched with a wooden stick. Commoners, presidents, madmen, ladies, gentlemen and maybe even criminals have been playing this game. Billiards knows a rich history. They name Billiards probably comes from two French words "bille" from ball and "art" from arts. The game has its origin in Northern Europe, probably France, where it was played as an outdoor game in the 15th century. Due to weather conditions the game moved indoors to a wooden table, which was dressed with a green carpet, to resemble grass, and a slat around the sides. The balls where pushed instead of punched with a wooden stick.
The game was originally played with two balls, six pockets with a gate, and a small piece of wood (the king) serving as the goal. By the 18th century the gate and king had gradually disappeared from the game, and only the balls and pockets remained. Most of the information about the early days of billiards comes from game reports of players of noble birth, but it is accepted that commoners played the game as well.
When designing a sophisticated poolroom, one can either consider the area as a neutral space preoccupied with only the functional aspects, or one can treat it as a dynamic space, which will capture and emulate every movement that occurs in it. It doesn't take much guessing to figure out which option was selected. We wanted the spaces to capture the essence of movement. It was an uncompromising search for appropriate details to the meticulous planning that went into the project.
Sabrina's house is a big house. Aside from personal aesthetic preferences, they wanted a functional arrangement for the available space. Suggestions went up for a closet room, utility room, hand wash area, servant room, gym room and pool room. Sabrina's youngest brother Fahim is a very good pool player. Hence, we ultimately decided on a spacious game room to fulfil all those requirements.
A pool table requires a lot of space, the kind of space that wasn't available in the house. So we set our sights on an area on the room, which underwent quick but massive construction work to form a room, where beams were used for load capacity, and three windows built in for ventilation purposes.
The floor took some consideration. We couldn't use tiles under the pool table, because Fahim warned that they would break if the balls fell on them. So we used two different materials brown carpeting under the pool table, and wooden tiles elsewhere around the room. Both are similar enough in colour so that the difference is only noted after careful scrutiny. The floor tiles were set vertically along the lower edge of the walls to cover up the pipes.
The game room was decorated bearing in mind that a teenager would be using it. Super teak boards were arranged vertically in the ceiling to create a group of lines to form a false ceiling. Two identical false ceilings were also installed on opposite ends of the room. Spotlights on the wall create a dramatic effect, while over the pool table, double tube lights were used, as pool players require a lot of light. An air conditioner was installed for maximum comfort.
The roof surface was divided into two parts: the upper part, where we placed the pool table and the lower portion, which became the gym section. A decorative railing made of SS pipe and etched glass was placed for protection.
A game room requires certain accessories. A wall rack was created for storing pool cues, billiard balls, coat rack, bottle openers, key chains, 8-balls, ashtrays and more. Fahim also arranged a wonderful billiard ball clock.
A small wash room also created to allow pool players and users of the gym to freshen up.
Wall treatment is also important so we used light coffee shade on the wall. Local fabrics in black and brown checks were used to make curtains for the windows, and a seating area was created for Fahim and his friends, using a black sofa and two small chairs within easy reach of a small white fridge.
With a well-balanced composition of colours and materials, the room with its decorative ceilings, smart curtains and pretty railing set the mood. All that was left was to add some necessary equipment, which included a nice, large pool table, and viola! The room was ready for some sporting action.
Nazneen Haque Mimi
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