FOLLOWING the launch of Padium we thought it would be nice to catch up with Houman Ashrafzadeh, the co-owner of the UK’s premier padel venue.
The two year collaboration between Padel Tech and Houman, Padium co-owner Martin Lorentzon and their team, culminated in last Thursday’s launch at the eight(AFP V-Panoramic) court super venue located at 10 Bank Street, right in the heart of London’s Canary Wharf blue chip business enclave.
The striking 30,000 square feet, three-domed structure bathed in the shadow of the locale’s famous skyscraper horizon also features a lounge area, smoothie bar, shop, changing rooms and superb conference facilities.
Thus having worked so closely with Padel Tech’s MD Paul Ross and our design team we were delighted when Houman agreed to field five key questions which illustrate just what you get when you enlist the services of Padel Tech.
Yet we also wanted to share just how much Houman, who is also Padium’s CEO and the co-founder of Urban Greens and Coffydoor, has personally invested in helping realise a project which ultimately manifested itself in the vision of his padel dream.
Over to you Houman!
Houman said: “We’ve had a very good relationship with Paul and the rest of the team and it has always been on excellent terms and they are very friendly people and that has made it, from my personal point of view, very enjoyable to work with them.
“Secondly the quality of the product and the courts. This has been something that from the very beginning when I had this dream, and I knew that I wanted to build something different of the very highest level, Padel Tech have now achieved with what they have built.
“So I am very pleased with all of that and it is a combination of these two factors, so hard and soft things. On the one hand the build and the quality and on the other the human touch and the working relationship we built throughout the project.”
Houman said: “It is that we have built a whole community at the club that started with just a little Excel Spreadsheet which has now developed into adream and a vision and now we have been open for two weeks and I have people coming to Padium who are really enjoying themselves.
“You can tell they are very happy with what we are offering from the looks on their faces on the way in and on the way out and that is something I am really excited about.
“I am also excited about finally being able to play padel on a regular basis myself and also happy for the team that I have built this with as we also have some incredibly talented people that are excited to be working with us and that makes me excited as well.”
Houman said: “I think they are on par with my experiences at the very best clubs in Sweden. Details really matter to me, so from the quality of the courts you can tell they are absolutely premium compared with the cheaper courts that are widely seen on the market.
“So it is clear that the courts at Padium are a cut above the rest and they are Panoramic and I love the fact that they are one solid piece of glass and there are no obstacles when you view the games from the sides and the back.
“We went with the most robust court model, which is mainly used outdoors, but we have also used this on our indoor courts and I think it looks so beautiful.
“We went for the more premium versions in terms of the net and light posts and we coloured them in our branded green colour and I just find this very aesthetically pleasing.
“The lights are LTA approved and I personally like it when the courts have individual lights and so how the light then floods onto the court and it gives you more of a focussed light and I appreciate that more than general lights from the ceiling.
“So even when the pros are playing very rarely does the ball hit the ceiling – even on the really high lobs they do – so that is excellent and very satisfying.
“Mondo carpet of course is a given and that was just never a question. So the details really matter, everything needed to be top and that is the case at Padium – there is no doubt about it.”
Houman said: “I’ve been working on this project for over three years and it started off with an idea that came to life and then that idea became my vision so I have been replaying that vision of playing padel on my own courts in my mind for a couple of years.
“It was incredible and on the first day when we soft launched I had my first game –although I had been playing on the outdoor court for a couple of weeks pre-launch and that was incredible, just having the skyscrapers in the background and a beautiful setting with a lot of people watching was just an amazing experience.
“But when I played indoors there was a huge sense of pride as this has been a complex project that has taken a lot of time and involved a lot of people.
“But also the quality was incredible – the courts are very good! There is distance between the courts and I played on the centre court – though not that I am at that level – and I just loved every part of it and it is just so amazing.
“So it is a dream come true for me.”
Houman said: “We have a lot of interesting opportunities coming our way from different property owners and developers in London, its surrounding areas and other cities and we are in various discussions in that respect.