To boldly go…
A surrealist speakeasy has opened in the heart of Dubai. The Secret Room, designed by Toronto-based Paolo Ferrari, is a nightclub that deftly threads together space and time with authenticity. The complex design draws inspiration from the far corners of the world—not unlike the cultural panoply of Dubai—and grounds it within the subterranean depths of the Five Palm Jumeirah Hotel.
▼项目概览，overall view ©Virgile Bertrand
The Dalí-esque statement bar speaks to the future, while soft furnishings conjure up an aesthetic reminiscent of the ’60s and ’70s. The classic interior architecture of the walls, ceiling, and floors delves farther back still, alluding to pre-20th century. These elements were also loosely inspired by the final moments of Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey, set in a Louis XIV-era French bedroom. “That scene has always resonated for me,” Ferrari says. “There is an incredible tension between the interior architecture, but at the same time it feels uncomplicated.” A similar affect is achieved in The Secret Room and, with it, a nod to retrofuturism is made clear.
▼设计明确地展示出对复古未来主义的致敬，a nod to retrofuturism is made clear in The Secret Room ©Virgile Bertrand
▼古典风格的墙壁、天花板和地面将我们带到更远的20世纪之前 ©Virgile Bertrand
the classic interior architecture of the walls, ceiling, and floors delves farther back still, alluding to pre-20th century
▼座位区，seating area ©Virgile Bertrand
▼青铜色的流线型吧台成为视线中颇具分量的存在 ©Virgile Bertrand
the bronze-coloured arched bar serves as a visually weighty object of discovery for guests
▼受意大利古典酒神图启发的手绘壁画 ©Virgile Bertrand
the artwork is inspired by classic Italian bacchanal paintings and their hedonistic tendencies
The bronze-coloured arched bar acts as a luminous showstopper in the nightclub. It serves as a visually weighty object of discovery for guests, and exudes an aerodynamic feel while also anchoring the space. The fibreglass bar was meticulously 3-D modelled from the inside-out then milled from custom moulds—not unlike fabricating a custom speedboat—and its design is mirrored in the sculpted aesthetic of the host and DJ station. A series of pedestal drink tables are cast from clear resin and meant to recall the physical shape of liquid. These elements contrast with the carved wooden walls and smoked oak flooring, along with an artwork inspired by classic Italian bacchanal paintings and their hedonistic tendencies. It was hand-painted in Canada over a series of six months.
▼透明树脂酒桌，drink table cast from clear resin ©Virgile Bertrand
▼细节，detail ©Virgile Bertrand
Mirrors throughout the nightclub visually expand the sultry space, but it is upon opening a door to the bathroom that guests are transported to The Secret Room’s most experimental area. The act of moving from a dimly-lit panelled corridor to an expansive, multi-dimensional space is otherworldly. “The reference point, also from Kubrick, is like looking into outer space,” says Ferrari of the design.
▼洗手间：密室中最具实验性的区域，bathroom: The Secret Room’s most experimental area ©Virgile Bertrand
▼地板的玻璃表面是一项特别的挑战，它需要兼顾质感和防滑性，同时又不能削弱其醒目的视觉效果 ©Virgile Bertrand
The execution of the floor’s glass finish was a particular challenge, as it had to take into account texture and slip resistance while not dulling its striking visual impact.
Indeed, the seduction of an underground lair invites a sense of artistry from those who set foot within the multi-faceted speakeasy. “For us, The Secret Room is a unicorn in our portfolio. It is a reminder that a great club pulls on your alter ego,” says Ferrari. True to form, access to the club is granted with a futuristic flourish: via fingerprint.
▼地面细节，floor detailed view ©Virgile Bertrand
More：Studio Paolo Ferrari