After successfully founding the prestigious Coco Banana club, Beijing, the former DJ - Mark Zhang got a taste for nightlife hospitality from a different perspective. So much so, that he has recently moved onto another venture of the same ilk, in the form of Elements Club - a venue located in Beijing’s up market East Side that exudes luxury and cool.
After deciding to redesign the club, Mark made contact with Daniel Richardson of DR Lighting - an LD with 15 years industry experience, who also has a Masters degree in Chinese Medicine and is fluent in Chinese. Now based in the UK, Mark was aware of Daniel’s work through his seven-year stint in China and was impressed by his designs. In turn, Daniel contacted long-term collaboration partner, Bas Scheij of Basz Design & Live Operating based in The Netherlands to work on the project with him.
Bas elaborated: “We were asked to use local Chinese brands for this installation. After reviewing Chinese fixture brands, we decided to use PR Lighting as they came closest to our specific needs for high output, smooth dimming, fast movement, fast color change, fast zoom, and above all reliability and after sale service compared to other brands. As the club is open seven days a week we chose LED fixtures only giving the club not only lower power consumption but also a longer lamp life.”
The main configuration is based on four large squares of lighting, each with three concentric smaller squares inside. Daniel and Bas opted to keep it simple and use only three different types of moving heads for the show lighting - one spot, one wash and one beam - but all were used in large quantities. A total of 88 PR Lighting PLANET’s and 66 PR Lighting Junior 150W Beam moving head are included in the inventory “With such an impressive setup and large number of fixtures, having too many different types of fixtures would have become overwhelming,” Bas explained.
Each of the fixture types are used throughout the entire club, giving LDs the ability to use one fixture type at a time to light up the club. The intelligent lights work in conjunction, allowing specific attention to detail that can be timed in accordance with the music playlist. For key lighting, the designers used a spot fixture with a framing shutter system, to highlight the DJ without affecting the area around the DJ booth.
With the lines between lighting and visuals blurring ever more these days, it comes as no great surprise that the visuals fell under Daniel and Bas’ remit for Elements Club. The visual set up is an important and integral part of the design, which follows the shapes of the set throughout the entire club. The 4mm LED tiles are mounted on the outside of every square and the entire balcony, to create a true 360º club feeling as people can watch the setup from every angle. “This was one of the very important basics during our design process, to give the audience a real club feel, instead of feeling like they are watching a concert. The visual setup was perfected by a next level visual content package, created by our partner DVizion from The Netherlands,” added Daniel.
Asked what makes this project different from any other, Bas replied: “Its originality and detailed design. The shapes of our lighting and video design are also repeated in the interior design throughout the entire club, it is wholistic. A difference to other installs is that we designed the whole club based around the light and video setup, instead of first designing a club and then adding video and lighting in a later stage.”