Russell Sage / The Mansion, Dubai

This nightclub is designed to look like a celebrity’s home open for a party, rather than a purpose-built nightlife destination.

Words By Emily Martin

Images Courtesy of Five Hotels and Resort

Project Info

Interior Designer Russell Sage

Lighting Design Victoria Jerram Lighting Design

Client FIVE Hotels and Resorts

THE MANSION NIGHTCLUB celebrates the glitz and opulence of the 1920s era. This glamourous venue, located at the FIVE Jumeirah Village hotel in Dubai, is designed by Russell Stage Studio and draws its inspiration from the ‘Scarface’ mansion with its iconic staircase and Roman architectural elements.

The nightlife destination features lavish gold and black furnishings, digital art screens showcasing transformative art pieces and graffiti designed by artist Pichi Avo.

‘The club needed to feel like a kind of celebrity palace that had been taken over for partying, rather than a purpose-built nightclub,’ says Zoe Laing, interior designer, Russell Sage Studio. ‘The “Mansion Party” concept drove all of our design process and allowed us to tell a story through every interior detail. To achieve this, we drew inspiration from celebrity rappers’ opulent houses and lavish sets, such as the infamous Scarface mansion and the Great Gatsby by scaling up classic interior details such as sweeping stairs, moulded panelling, and gilded artwork. We also looked at historic design periods such as classical Greek architecture to get ideas for decorative detailing and proportions.’

The design layout echoes a visual language of mansions and ballrooms, spruced up with ostentatious lighting and artworkThe design layout echoes a visual language of mansions and ballrooms, spruced up with ostentatious lighting and artwork

Russell Sage Studio appointed Victoria Jerram Lighting Design for the destination’s lighting scheme. Layers of lighting were designed into the fabric of the venue, allowing the venue to offer a new experience on each visit. Each surface – from the bar, feature staircase, columns and DJ booth – has been considered and designed with lighting at its core. The UV wash lights highlight the UV graffiti art applied to the walls and back bar, and decorative light fittings bring a touch of glamour to the space.

The lighting scheme is highly flexible, using the latest in LED lighting technology to achieve its very unique colouring and lighting effects. The lighting rig includes ambient quad-colour (RGBW) moving head projectors, special effects projectors and Video LED tape, all programmed to create a synergy between light and music.

This layered lighting effect creates an immersive environment. ‘Lighting was extremely key to bring this project alive’, explains Laing. ‘We wanted the space to feel like it was reactive to the people in it and use lighting to highlight key features of the interior story. We used the classic Greek Ionic column as our inspiration, recreating the characteristic decorative tops in neon light which can be changed to suite the mood of the party.

The UV wash lights serve to highlight the UV graffiti art applied to the walls and the back barThe UV wash lights serve to highlight the UV graffiti art applied to the walls and the back bar

The design layout echoes a visual language of mansion and ballrooms. From the entrance visitors are first led to the bar, which has been made to look like a large piece of cabinetry. Around the corner the main space opens up. ‘You are hit with full party experience’, says Laing, with the main space purposefully shielded on entrance, so visitors under take a journey to get there.

‘We wanted the main dance floor to feel like a grand ballroom with the classic double sweeping stairs and ability to have guests enjoying the party from multiple view points. Behind opulent velvet curtains at the back is an intimate private bar, the perfect place for luxury secret parties.’

Another key focal point to the scheme is the DJ area and balcony, both of which help to create atmosphere through colour change.

A light up staircase also also provides guests with a unique party platform with views over looking the magnificent the light up DJ booth.

The designers also looked to ancient Greece for creative inspirationThe designers also looked to ancient Greece for creative inspiration

Alongside the contemprary elements suited to a nightclub setting, such as oversized LED chandeliers and bar-lighting, the design team included a lighting scheme that celebrates the gold finishes and graffiti that covers much of the walls, bouncing light and picking up the metallic details.

Says Laing: ‘We always say that when you walk into a space you want it to feel as though the party has already happened. Full of life and a feast for the eyes, layering colour, texture and lighting to create an unforgettable visual extravaganza. For us, this nightclub needed to be the epitome of this idea. A shrine to hedonism, giving nods to classic mansion details whilst juxtaposing rebellious design ideas. FIVE’s very own Mansion where the party never stops.’

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