Project Team

Interior Design: MAKE
AV: DJW Projects

Set in the heart of colourful Potts Point, SOHO has been a Sydney institution for over 20 years. A multi-million dollar fit-out has recently transformed this bastion of cool into a two level super-club. SOHO features four bars spread over two sprawling levels and several different areas. The Avery features stunning harbour views and a bird-themed décor, the intimate Gold room is … well, gold and the Lounge features a markedly 1960’s flavour.

However it is SOHO’s ground floor Club level that sends the senses into spin. Multi-faceted, three-dimension wall and ceiling surfaces reflect light, colour and movement, providing an exciting, surreal and all encompassing backdrop to the nightclub.

The Avery on the first floor transports patrons to a playful, frivolous stage set, a wonderland where any character can come to life. Cardboard cutout, caricature like trees and creatures combine to provide a captivating, enhances space layered with colour, unexpected objects and quirky furniture.

Interior designers MAKE were responsible for this colour makeover under directions from the client who expressly wanted to address the acoustic problems within the venue and to layer the new club with its own unique personality – one that would distinguish it from other Kings Cross and Sydney venues.

Inspired by crystalline forms, MAKE masterminded the Club to integrate design, lighting and sound to create a total sensory experience, extending the

experience of the visitor beyond the expected club
environment. MAKE developed a three dimension surface treatment, or skin, to envelope the walls and ceilings, spreading across the club to form an endless series of reflective triangular forms. These surreal forms are mesmerizing as the space is constantly transformed through colour to reflect a different mood. Constructed of perforated and folded sheet steel, the distinctive surfaces were custom designed by MAKE to provide a multi faceted and fragmented backdrop upon which hundreds of coloured LEDs are projected.

The lighting can be programmed with endless possibilities; colour themes can be exploited to create the mood – to heat it up or cool it down. The transition through colours can be intensified as the night continues, on parallel the energy within the club, essentially creating a constantly evolving light show.

The key to MAKE’s approach was to balance the geometric, haphazard and reflective shapes with a long, dark and pared back seating areas, providing a visual pause from the colour and movement around it.

In the Avery, a series of openings between the Level 1 dance floor and the lounge has dramatically improved flow and circulation around the floor. MAKE rejuvenated the dance floor and bar area, incorporating the whimsical theme and softening the lighting with a series of oversized bulbs forming a glowing tongue in cheek chandelier over the bottle display.

DJW Projects’ role on the overall project not only addressed the acoustics, lighting and sound within the venue, but the team took on the role of coordinating the building effort and together with MAKE achieved an outcome for The Eastern Hotels Group that required only a two weeks shut down, was completed on time, and was a very cost effective solution for the impact produced.

DJW Projects worked alongside MAKE to provide an acoustic solution that addressed the internal building construction and provided a solution that has achieved impressive sound quality whilst insuring that noise transfer from the building was contained.

In the Club, DJW Projects utilised a number of different products to achieve the desired outcomes as designed by MAKE in particular LED lighting used to stunning effect. This included over 100 DTS Tricolor LED MR16 downlights in the ceiling, 40 Sputnick moving lights and 30 metres of Show Technology Pro Shop LED tubes. An e:cue was the preferred control system for the lighting with a Show Technology Martin LightJockey controlling the main dance floor lights.

“The sound system installed was of utmost importance as the venue has strict requirements in relation to its neighbours,” commented Dave Coxon, managing director of DJW Projects. “It also needed to be one of the best as it caters for the likes of Ministry of Sound and any number of international DJ’s playing on any given night.”

A Production Audio Services supplied EAW Avalon PA system, a market leader in dance club systems, was chosen with Symetrix processing providing the ultimate control and limiting solution.

DJW Projects was also responsible for providing a complete control system for the analogue lighting and the air-conditioning throughout the venue, and for this a Dynalite system was chosen as a stable and affordable solution.

With any install of this nature the main problem confronting the operators of the venue is the ease of use of the human interface. DJW Projects installed AMX as the interface giving the managers a simple to use touch-screen interface for ease of control.

”This allows for presets to be built on the fly by the managers with the ability to edit any preset and then save them to the panel,” explained Dave. “In addition, a scheduler was installed allowing the management to automate the changing of the presets. This has made it possible to ensure that things like air-conditioning don’t get left on when the areas have closed. Having a system that is this foolproof has resulted in a considerable energy saving for the venue by reducing the parasitic load caused by lights, air-conditioning or other systems being left on inadvertently by tired managers at the end of their long nights trading.”

Paul Shaw of the SOHO states “I was very scared of the technology proposed as with any new thing you don’t understand, but now that I have seen how easy to use it really is - I don’t know how we survived without it!”

EAW Avalon Series

In the late 1990s, EAW focused on something that had never been done before: create a full line of loudspeakers that would be ideally suited to the specific sonic goals and needs of the club market. At that same time, top nightclub sound designer John Lyons approached EAW with his ideas for loudspeakers capable of matching the captive audience on the dance floor, with output that is surrounding and encompassing, but without the “long throw” characteristics of PA loudspeakers.

A unique and ultimately highly successful collaboration ensued, also involving top DJs and club sound professionals from around the world, with EAW’s formidable engineering resources deployed to make the defined set of club loudspeaker goals into a reality.

The Avalon Series proved an immediate hit, installed at dozens of high-profile clubs within a year of launching. Some of EAW’s most powerful technologies are brought to bear in the Avalon Series, a fact that can now be testified to by thousands of club owners and DJs - as well as millions of dance club patrons - around the world.

Production Audio Services