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The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas was nearly finished by the time Jules Fisher received a phone call from renowned architect David Rockwell, late in the winter of 2010, about an exciting collaboration. Rockwell explained that he had been commissioned to take three floors of raw space in the Cosmopolitan reserved for the Tao Group and convert it into a new, spectacular Vegas night club. Fisher, the legendary Broadway lighting designer and founder of three companies specializing in performance lighting, theatre planning, and architectural lighting, was all too happy to sign on.

The result, less than a year later, is the extraordinary 62,000sq-ft. Marquee. If it is possible to surpass spectacle, the Marquee succeeds in all respects. The club features three levels: the main dance floor with three offshoot bars, the plush upper-tier Library, and the Boom Box area below, each with its own stylistic flair. Mechanically kinetic lighting elements, including moving light pods and a sparkling, caged mirror ball, are combined with digital content from a massive 30’x32’ LED mesh video wall behind the stage. Color-changing architectural lighting plays on the curtains flanking the dance floor, adding depth and richness to the club’s special effects. The adjacent bars and seating areas, which offer a more intimate, seductive ambiance, balance the high-energy feel of the central space.

What you wouldn’t guess on a first visit is that the behind-the-scenes story is as heroic as the proportions of the club itself. Perhaps the most astonishing feat was the design team’s adherence to an accelerated schedule dictated by the Tao Group’s desire to open the club on an appropriately extravagant date: New Year’s Eve. When Fisher and Rockwell first spoke, only three months remained to design the space, followed by a six-month construction timeline—a rigorous schedule even by Las Vegas standards.

With frequent face-to-face client meetings as their touchstones, Fisher Marantz Stone (FMS) designed the architectural lighting, Fisher Dachs Associates (FDA) planned the control system and stage equipment, and Third Eye Studio provided art direction and brainstormed ideas in a completely collaborative process with all consultants. Because of the unique relationship between Fisher’s three firms and the efficiency with which the project team needed to communicate, the process came to be marked by unexpected collaborations between disparate groups. The contractors, architects, engineers, and other specialists began to learn about other disciplines in order to accelerate the process and soon began to incorporate each other’s interests into their design conversations.

Ultimately, the communal effort resulted in a revolutionary nightclub environment with a seamless blend of functions and unparalleled integration of systems. Most important, though, is what visitors felt as they counted down to midnight – delight.

Creative Team
Third Eye (Jules Fisher) and Fisher Marantz Stone (Michael Hemmenway, Frank Hollenkamp), Lighting Design
Fisher Dachs Associates (Alex Stoll, Micah Rahn), Theatrical Consultant
SJ Lighting—Steve Lieberman, Dance Floor Lighting Design
SenovvA, Video Systems
V Squared Labs, Visual Content Creators
Show Motion, Stage Machinery
Rockwell Group, Design Architect
Friedmutter Group, Architect of Record
Warren Jagger (provided by Magnetic Public Relations), Photographer

Equipment
30x32 GLIC 16mm Wall
1 Green Hippo Hippotizer HD V3 Media Server
Barco Folsom ImagePRO-HD
Barco Projectors: 1-FLM R22+, 2-SLM R12+
34 Elation Professional Design Spot 300 Pro
32 Elation Professional Opti Tri PAR
6 RSC Lightlock
6 Philips Vari-Lite VL2500 Spot
10 Philips Vari-Lite VL1000
3 TMB 4-Lite Audience Blinder
10 Martin Professional Atomic 3000 Strobe
2 Martin Jem ZR44 Fog Machine
2 Reel EFX DF-500 Diffusion Hazer
1 Kryogenifex Liquid Nitrogen System
ETC Source Four Ellipsoidals w/SeaChanger
1 MA Lighting grandMA2 light w/NPU
336 ETC Sensor+ Dimmer
120 ETC SmartSwitch Relay

8 ETC Paradigm Architectural Control Processor