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Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas meets the visual aspects of Blade
Runner. It’s more than the music, glamour and flashing lights of
previous Gatecrasher venues.”
To create and implement such an eclectic and complex design
scheme, Raine hand-picked “the best design team in the world”,
drawing on the expertise of Fortis and Matt Rawlinson Design Ltd
for conceptual design, who worked in collaboration with overall
design project managers Design at Source, led by Stuart Trett, and
main contractor Phelan Construction. Trett explains the design
process: “Big Time Design did the conceptual design and big set
pieces for the main room and Matt did conceptual design for Bed,
whilst we pulled all of those areas together, made them happen
and in addition to that did the entire design for Mansion, Orange
Pop and all the intermediate areas.” He continues: “Raine wanted
to absolutely get away from what’s become a relatively stagnant
and jaded UK club blueprint for nightclub layouts, which is what
Big Time brought to it by getting the seating out and onto the
dancefloor and breaking down that very large space.” Rows of
long arching blood red leather ‘sin bins’, balconies and a section
of elongated steps that are meant to represent large museum
steps for lounging on, mean that the surrounding areas of the
dancefloor are all part of the action. To the left of the dancefloor
is a ceiling-high feature wall, which towers over the entire room.
Huge lexicon panels are adorned with translucent iconic prints,
alternately portraying a queen and a monkey. In front is a platform
for GB’s theatrical entertainers, who can also perform on the
trapezes set high above the heads of the crowd.
Although the main room is the key discussion point of the venue,
the entrance to it was pivotal to the design because the journey to
the main room was meant to be instrumental to its impact. Once
past the initial turnstyles and up the stairs, clubbers are met with
a preliminary ‘departure lounge’, meant to echo the experience
one has at an airport before they embark upon a trip. The room
hints on the glamour within, with pendant chandeliers, ripple fold
MAIN:10 x Robe 1200XT scanner; 8 x Robe x 1200AT moving
drapes and reflective ceilings. A 180 degree turn takes guests
head; 8 x Robe 575AT moving head; 2 x Robe 575AT moving
down a long futuristic tunnel, with colour-changing lights and a
head wash; 4 x Robe 575XT scanner; 16 x Martin Wizards
glass wall to one side. Around the corner is a corridor covered in
Extreme; 4 x Martin Atomic strobes; 4 x Martin Colours; 96
old ‘crasher’ posters – a brief encounter with the brand’s heritage
x Leds Tubes; 11 x Leds 4 Cell Blinder; 5 x LED Flood; 1
x ShowCAD Artist console; 5 x BenQ SP 870’s; 5000 Lux
- before being suddenly swept into its astonishing new world, the
projectors; 2 x Resolume video server; 1 x Edirol V8 vision
main room of GB. Trett says: “The idea of the turnstyles on the
way in and the tunnel makes it a bit like standing in a Disney queue
MATRIX WALL: 2,064 x X-Puzzle Panel; 4 x X-image Pro Driver;
line and wondering when you are going to get in.” At the back of
78 x Xstrip LED strip; 1 x ArKaos media server; 42 x X-Bar high
power RGB wash lights
the main room lies Orange Pop, a separate room with its own DJ,
sound system and lighting effects. Dramatically different in design
and vibe to the main room, Orange Pop blends a kaleidoscope of
MAIN ROOM: 4 x Opus CS850N active mid/high cabinet fitted
coloured lights and furnishing with pop art Lichtenstein wallpaper,
with proprietary HF unit 8 x Opus SB315 2000w custom sub
bass cabinet; 1 x Opus SB415 2800w custom sub bass cabinet;
rubber floors and playful LED displays on the backbar depicting
4 x Opus SB218 1400w custom sub bass cabinet; 11 x Opus
different lettering. Another play on words – a common theme
MP400N 400w multi purpose cabinet; DJM-1000 mixer; DVJ-
throughout GB – is featured on the bar top; a yellow LG Hi-Mac
1000 DVD player; CDJ-1000 mk3 CD player; EFX-1000 effects
bar is etched with writing, which was fabricated by Multi Surface
POSH BAR VIP: 2 x Opus SB415 2800w custom vertical line
Fabrications Ltd, along with the white rectangular bar in the Posh
source sub bass cabinet; 2 x Opus MP400N 400w multipurpose
room. Says Trett: “The writing is by Roy Lichtenstein. It’s about
cabinet; DVJ X1 DVD player; DJM-800 mixer
the meaning of fame and success – you might be rich and famous,
ORANGE POP: 2 x Opus SB215 1400w sub bass cabinet; 3 x
but everybody drinks the same Coca Cola, goes to the same
Opus SB115 700w sub bass cabinet; 2 x Opus PSD500N point
source 500w active mid/high cabinet; 1 x Opus PSD400 400w
places and wears the same shoes. So it’s tongue in cheek, poking
DJ monitor; DJM-600; CDJ-1000 mk3
irony at the fact that everybody is at Gatecrasher thinking they’re
DEPARTURE LOUNGE: 4 x Opus DC600 600w active ceiling
cooler than cool.”
Designers Republic has implemented a series of overt signage
BED: 4 x Opus CS750 active mid/high cabinet; 8 x Opus HB115
600w sub bass cabinet; 2 x Opus SB218 1000w sub bass
around GB, identifying different zones such as ‘Powder Room’
cabinet; 1 x Opus SB212 1000w sub bass cabinet; 2 x Opus
and ‘Smoking Kills. This Way’. In Orange Pop, small ‘kissing booths’
MP550 550w multipurpose cabinet; 2 x Opus DJ600 600w DJ
look through to the main room, ensuring people aren’t detached
monitors; CDJ-800 CD player; DJM-500
from the action. Above Orange Pop on the open mezzanine level
is Posh, a private bar with mood lit seating and off from the main
050 January / February 2009
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