Singapore’s iconic club venue undergoes a major renovation and acquires an artistic edge in the process.
In the city where entertainment venues change almost as fast as the fickle preferences of the club-going crowds, it’s an impressive accomplishment when a nightclub can remain a relevant staple in Singapore’s vibrant nightlife for two decades. Indeed, Zouk – the mega nightclub venue of international repute – has had an uncanny ability to successfully update its image through the years of its existence and reemerge with surprising new spatial concepts that dazzle and excite the general masses and the admiring designers alike.
After undergoing a facelift at one of its club spaces, Zouk’s Velvet Underground recently reopened its doors to the public in November of 2011. Never lacking fresh concepts, Phillips Connor – an independent consultant who was previously enlisted to renovate Zouk in 2000 and 2005 – has returned to design a lounge and a dance area, both of which incorporate unique architectural features and selected wall art to create a bold, new identity for the club. In this latest renovation, Connor planned a revision of the Velvet Underground’s previous spatial layout and unveiled a brand new design that marks a distinct departure from the club’s earlier look and feel.
Connor’s design emphasises playful, custom-crafted materials to create a collective visual experience for the club’s visitors. This playfulness is evident in the materials used in various design features, their unique properties and textures and their responsiveness to the dramatic LE D ceiling lighting. Connor explains his design intent in more detail, saying that the “faceted theme that is most prevalent in the detailing and materiality of the dance club represents the different facets of humanity and variety of cultural influences in the music that comes together there”.
From the moment that club patrons enter the foyer and proceed through the entry corridor flanked by multi-layered, organic, fin-like panels to the time they arrive at the dance club’s DJ console or the lounge’s main bar crafted out of colourful custom resin blocks, they are continuously surrounded by bold but sophisticated architectural elements. Throughout the club, selected artworks, a digital installation by Ina Conradi and tattoo wall art provide an additional testament to Connor’s overarching intent to integrate artistic sensibility into the very core of the club’s being. Connor sums up the new club experience by saying that he “did not want to celebrate death, drugs, or the negative cultural influences that are so often presented in tattoo art, but rather the love of life and music and sensuality.” Now those are influences that even the fickle club-going crowd can stay true to. aedas.com, zoukclub.com