With locations in London, Paris, Tokyo, and New York, The Living Room nightclubs are known for their chic comfortable spaces and great sound systems, but Fort Lauderdale, FL along the Las Olas River seemed an unlikely location for a new 11,000sq-ft. South Beach-style club in the worldwide chain.
Jay Krause, owner of Fort Lauderdale, FL-based Sound & Lighting Solutions Inc. designed the lighting and sound systems in the venue, and his company also supplied the gear. Intended to be a highly interactive and sensory experience, the venue includes four main spaces, starting with an outdoor Zen meditation garden built around themes of fire and water. Inside are three differently themed rooms: the Opal Room, a white, moody ultra-lounge; the Meditation Room, a modern loft living room-type space with a waterfront view and beds that appear to float; and The Gate, the main room with the area’s most powerful sound system to date.
Krause admits that the visuals were not necessarily the top priority. “The first thing that was the most important to the owners was to have that serious nightclub sound, even though it’s three different areas and not huge,” he says, adding that the venue’s thumping beats are courtesy of a Dynacord system, with all the processing within the amplifiers, “a good turnkey,” he says. “Once the audio was done, then we worked around the speaker positions with lighting.”
Once the sound wish list was fulfilled, the creative team turned to visual aspects of the spaces. As one of the owners is a decorator, carving out unique spaces was a must, as was the demand to ensure the guests would not be able to see any of the lighting sources. “Looks were very, very important to the client,” he says, adding that the club caters to its clients by allowing each room to change its mood depending on special occasions and club-goers needs.
The Gate, aptly named as the entranceway to the venue, features the main dance floor and areas that are “very earthy,” according to Krause, who says the owners wanted this area to have an “elemental effect—things that look like eyeballs, organic stuff.” To keep the effects pumping, The Gate has a rig of Chauvet lighting gear: six Min Wash LEDs, three Min Spot LEDs, and two ST-750 Strobes, as well as a Martin Professional 24/7 Hazer.
“This room also has a 12' chandelier with Chauvet ColorDash PARs to make it a centerpiece,” adds Krause, noting that he also incorporated lasers into the chandelier—Chauvet Scorpion Storm Lasers, Scorpion Sky units, and Scorpion Storm RGs. “The room looks like an all-encompassing laser net,” he says. Bubble chandeliers in the main bar add color to the room as well, and a painting lit by Philips/Color Kinetics ColorBlast LEDs changes images—including from Buddah to sky to various other scenes—as the LEDs change color.
Krause notes that a challenge in hiding all the light sources was “to get that certain look without it looking like a Lite-Brite in every room.” In addition, the venue’s vaulted ceilings and odd angles proved to be tricky when it came time to mount the fixtures. “The walls structurally come to a sort of dome, like a pyramid ceiling with curved walls, so that presented a challenge to mount the lasers and other fixtures,” Krause says. “It’s also all finished wood, so we couldn’t cut into it.” He adds that he also backlit the main room with LEDs using three colors to bring out different looks.
In The White Rooms
The Opal Room, easily identified by its all-white theme, was designed so that the lighting does the work of setting the mood, changing the feel of the room with color. White walls and a mirrored ceiling intensify the effect. Here, a combination of lighting and effects from Chauvet—LEDrain 56s, Intimidator Spot HTI 150s, and an F1250 fogger—and from Elation Professional—FLEX RGB LED Tape and MRRGBE27 LED Lamps—are rounded out by Acclaim Lighting X-Stick LED Tubes.
The Meditation Room—with its white couches and a 3D holographic projection of Angelina Jolie inside a ceramic head centerpiece—required the continuing theme of hiding the sources but also ensuring they didn’t blind guests. This area includes three Sanyo PLC-XL51 ultra-short throw projectors with extreme, fish-eye lenses mounted 4" from the walls, throwing onto screens that mimic picture frames set on their sides. “People can’t tell how we did it,” says Krause. “There are no shadows created by the projections.” Elation Professional MRRGBE27 LED lamps and American DJ Fantasy Scan 250s comprise the lighting in the Meditation Room.
Krause notes that venue’s location overlooking the waterfront created both benefits and challenges. “There are pillars that are structural outer walls between which are windows, so we only had a certain amount of space to work with—maybe 3' across, but we had 6' high—one of the unique things in that club,” he says. Outside in the Zen garden and on the patio, overlooking the riverfront, Chauvet LEDrain fixtures sealed inside weatherproof boxes create downlighting.
The control system is via a Martin Professional Light Jockey 2 for main room control for The Gate, with Elation Professional Compuware Control for the Opal Room, and Acclaim AR-32 controllers for X-Stick LEDs and accessory lighting. Video content is all run from DVDs.
The lounge has become such a draw with the club circuit that it is adding another 10,000sq-ft. dance floor, for which Krause says he’s in discussions with the owner for the lighting system. “We’re also excited most about adding an infinity video wall, and they already have us working on the wall and some other ways to change the interior again,” he says. “It’s exciting working with them, because a lot of times, the challenge is coming up with the concept, and it can be hard to get it completed financially and having the client involved. This client has an exact vision, so we aren’t challenged as much. Financially, they wanted what they wanted, so they could make changes elsewhere to get what vision they had.”
4 Chauvet Lighting ColorDash PAR
1 Chauvet Lighting F1250 Fogger
2 Chauvet Lighting ST-750 Strobe
3 Chauvet Lighting Min Spot LED
6 Chauvet Lighting Min Wash LED
12 Chauvet Lighting LEDrain 56
2 Chauvet Lighting LEDrain 64
4 Chauvet Lighting Scorpion Storm Laser
10 Chauvet Lighting Scorpion Sky
4 Chauvet Lighting Scorpion Storm RG
5 Chauvet Lighting Intimidator Spot HTI150
10 Elation Professional FLEX RGB LED Tape
70 Elation Professional MRRGBE27 LED Lamp
4 American DJ Fantasy Scan 250 Scanner
60 Acclaim Lighting X-Stick LED Tube
1 Martin Professional Wizard EO
1 Martin Professional Atomic Strobe 3000 With Color Scroller
1 Martin Professional Light Jockey 2
2 Acclaim AR-32 Controller
1 Elation Professional Compuware Control
1 Martin Professional 24/7 Hazer
Two DJ Booths
1 Denon DNX1500
5 Pioneer CDJ1000MK3
1 Pioneer DJM800 Mixer