The idea of creating an emotional heist by engendering the feelings of power, excitement and danger that a heist connotes, was at the center of the concept for the space.

Water buffalo skull handles on the charred ash wood doors at the entrance hint at what is within.  A portal opening at the bottom of a dark staircase, surmounted with a shimmering silvery ceiling, reveals a surprise: a stunning 30' long gold bar riddled with actual bullet holes. Above, fiber-optic lighting set amongst cut-glass crystals suspended from a gold perforated ceiling, glitter like diamonds.  Sensi acrylic panels form a backdrop to the bar and are edge-lit with linear motion LED lighting that reinforces the shimmering and glittering effect.

The intimate space is clad in swirled, brass and gold panels, punctuated with gemstone-inspired vitrines, each of which showcases a unique vignette related to the heist theme.

Black leather banquettes strike a dramatic contrast with the gold-stained concrete floor, whose chevron incisions underscore the angular geometry of the space.  Triangular mirrors on the 'terraced' ceilings reflect the ambient lighting from the cove fixtures and miniature LED's sparkle and vibrate with the intensity of the music.

A study in dramatic impact and luxury, the magnificent DJ booth with its pyramidal, multi-faceted front

is the focal point of the project.  An impressive gold-dipped buffalo skull and horns on a spectacular leather-bound plaque is mounted on a backdrop of black tufted leather embellished with gold bullet casings that together symbolize the danger and excitement of a heist.

The restrooms, with their gold water closets and urinals set in monolithic charcoal tile, reinforce the sense of luxury by virtue of their stark contrast to the interior.

From conception to completion, HEIST DC was a three-year labor of love. Effectively communicating the vision of the design to the contractor and fabricators of the custom designed materials was, by far, the biggest challenge. While there is the physical heist (the “goods” that are taken), there are added dimensions to a true heist. One must also consider the subliminal effect that a heist produces: the feeling of power, and of being empowered. This is an emotional heist. How do we achieve this without compromising the vision?  We found through collaboration, the use of rich colors, rich materials, and the use of indirect lighting, helped to create a feeling of luxury, excitement, and power while still maintaining a sexy, yet warm atmosphere in the intimate space.

We discovered that we did not need to do the obvious, which is to showcase the spoils of the heist, but rather to evoke the feelings and emotions that a heist engenders. The feeling that the world is one's oyster, that one is powerful, wealthy, clever and even a little dangerous. The thrill of pulling it off successfully, are as valuable as the “goods” themselves.

Equipment List:

  • Pioneer DJM-900 Nexus
  • Pioneer CDJ-2000 Nexus
  • Technics SL-1200GLD
  • Rane SL4 Serato
  • HP12CX drivers
  • DJ monitor rig: 2 sub w/2 mid-hi w/brackets
  • RCF subwoofer
  • JBL sub drivers
  • Power Amplifier: Crown 12000HD (subwoofers)
  • Power Amplifier: Crown IT6000 Mid-hi/DJ sub
  • Power Amplifier: Crown XTi 2002
  • Power Amplifier: Crown XTi 4002
  • Mega Strobes
  • DMX Branch


Design Team:

  • CONCEPTUALIZERS: Charles Koch, Patrick Osuna, Timothy Sheldon
  • Brian Swanson –Lead Designer
  • Jason Veilleux-Contractor
  • Lonnie Hanzon- Art Curator (Niches)
  • Steven Jones -Metal Fabricator
  • Ivan Burketh – Sound/ Club lighting


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