The Bahamas mega-resort, Atlantis Paradise Island has reinvented the concept of "no grown-ups allowed" with the opening of its teen club, Crush. An unused banquet room was re-imagined by renowned nightlife architect Jeffrey Beers into a state-of-the-art technology Mecca where teens ages 13-17 can socialize and play. Focus Lighting, an award winning professional architectural lighting design firm located in New York City, handled all the lighting design for the venue, specifying Pulsar lighting fixtures specifically for the club's dramatic entry way.
The $11 million dollar, 14,000 square-foot space boasts an Internet Lounge complete with multi-touch computers and surface tables with photo editing and publishing interfaced to Facebook, a Gaming Room stocked with state-of-the-art technology ranging from the new Microsoft flagship motion sensor product Kinect for Xbox 360 to a floor-to-ceiling gaming tree with 24 gaming consoles, ten private gaming cabanas, and even a selection of iPads for internet browsing. Multi-purpose video walls decorate the Dance Club's VIP sections and a live DJ is accessible via a touch screen song request system. There's also a bar serving non-alcoholic drinks and the Café serves up snacks, from pizzas to smoothies to ice cream and more.
The architecture of the club works in concert with the lighting to create an enveloping, embracing space, and in some cases, the walls are literally built out of light tubes that immerse clubgoers in video animations that match the mood and energy of the music. Lighting Designer Kelly Hannon worked closely with Beers' team.
"The brief from the client was to create a teen club unrivaled by anything in the world, on par with nightclubs in New York or Vegas…minus the alcohol," explained Hannon. "We were involved right from the beginning in the planning stages of the space. There was a rough layout of where things were going to go—bar, lounge, etc—and we would sit in meetings and trade ideas back and forth on how to get the lighting integrated into the details, and to develop the space in a way that would attract the teenagers. It was a very collaborative process."
As for inspiration, Hannon says they looked at music videos, both for graphics and for colors and vibrancy. "We also went back to the old days of the nightclub to try and reinvent some of those ideas. For example, in the entryway of the club, where the Pulsar fixtures are being used, we have what we call our "Inside Out Disco Ball," which is basically an LED floor with mirrors all around. It takes that idea of the disco ball and inverts it. Focus' founder, Paul Gregory, way back in the '70s, did the "Saturday Night Fever" floor in the movie and we were playing with the idea of doing the lit floor but doing it in a new way. The club's entry shows off the Pulsar Chroma MR16 fixtures, 89 of them in the floor, that form a bull's-eye inside of this totally mirrored room."
Hannon has used the Pulsar fixtures previously on a nightclub in Dubai—Sanctuary Nightclub, another club within an Atlantis resort—and was impressed with their output. When it came time to spec in an LED product for the club Crush entryway application, she looked no further than Pulsar. "You see a lot of the LED MR16s that look good as indicator lights but don't actually put out much light. They're pretty to look at but don't have any output. We wanted to get the light up on people, so we needed a fixture that could actually punch light out. The Chroma MR16s ended up being the best for the space, giving us lots of programming flexibility in a small package, and within a price range we could afford."
Hannon said they consistently received comments from adults touring the space prior to opening, to the effect of, "But I want to come here… this looks like so much fun!" "Pulsar helped us to create a world-class venue, so we'll definitely be looking at Pulsar for future projects."