Swimming into the UK nightclub scene is the ocean-themed Aqua, a visually stylish venue with a friendly atmosphere and a broad musical policy. Recently opened in Grays, Essex, 30 minutes from London, it is already proving a great success.
Coe-tech, a Northampton-based pro lighting and sound sales company, provided all lighting and sound equipment, supplied through IFC and installation company DIVAS. The sound and lighting installation was coordinated for Coe-tech by Tony Day, senior project manager, with the DIVAS team.
The dance floor lighting scheme, devised by Coe-tech's design team headed by Nathan Wan, was crucial to the venue's visual identity. The lighting brief was to produce a liquid and flowing feel for the room. The walls and columns are painted a pastel blue and are ideal for projection effects. (Water columns throughout the club were supplied by Waterworld Sculptures.) The low ceiling height played a role in the choice of instruments.
Wan wanted the smallest, most flexible fixtures possible. He chose the Coemar iSpot 150, one of the Italian manufacturer's new stable of small moving-head luminaires. The iSpots are built robustly and specifically for low-maintenance situations like Aqua, which has no full-time on-site lighting tech. He also used the Coemar Pro Wash LX, another bright but small-sized light. Futurelight CC-200 PRO color-changers and DF-250 multicolored flower effects pack additional punch. Special effects include two TAS Saetta 1,500W strobes, three 16" mirror balls, Apollo UV guns, and two Coemar Nebbia DMX foggers. All fixtures are powder-coated aqua blue to match the decor.
Dance floor area lighting is controlled by a Pulsar Masterpiece 216 desk, with ANYtronics dimmers. The VIP Piano Bar area features large, comfy leopard-print sofas and bubbling water effect tables. AVR Colourmaster color-changing fixtures and a controller give this area a relaxed vibe. Coe-tech also lit Aqua's exterior front wall with four blue wash lights and two Studio Due CityColors, with a Studio Due Space Flower on the roof to attract attention.