MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – In the heart of the central business district of Australia’s second largest city lies the popular Spice Market bar, ultra lounge, and nightclub. Offering an eclectic program of DJs, live performances, and award-winning food against a stunning backdrop of Indo-Asian design, the chic nightspot draws a diverse cross section of people. Recently, in hopes of continuing their longstanding success, owners Geremy and Dean Lucas decided to update and renovate their unique establishment, whilst adding a new dynamic visual spice. Designer Sohail e. Najafi of Najafi Design Group, helped them accomplish this goal with a new comprehensive theatrical and effect lighting system that featured approximately 30,000 pixel-mapped LEDs and DMX-controlled flying automation, all supported by CHAUVET DJ Intimidator Spot LED 350 moving fixtures.
Najafi was initially faced with a couple of significant challenges when asked to enhance the exotic and theatrical environment of the club. “Given the varied program of the venue, which transitions from an after work bar to posh ultra lounge and finally to a high energy dance club, I required a versatile fixture that was small, economical, and feature-rich. At only 15 inches tall, the Chauvet Intimidator Spot LED 350 worked masterfully,” commented Najafi.
Thanks to the impressive array of features included within the Spot 350’s arsenal, Najafi and his team were able to use the fixture to fulfill several roles. “The solid gobo selection is a great feature for creating beautiful washes of texture during early evening bar and lounge hours,” said Najafi. “Combined with the rotating three-facet prism, which features good overlap orientation, smooth gobo rotation, and a good assortment of colors, the same rig allowed for a whole manner of different looks and dynamic effects during the later nightclub hours. Also very useful was the impressive speed of the fixture and the commendable light output from the frugal 75W LED engine.”
Given the fact that the club often features live performances, Najafi also needed a fixture capable of properly key lighting talent. “The great light output, even field, and pleasant native color temperature of the LED engine allowed me to successfully provide key light for several performance areas littered around the venue. As seen in the accompanying shots, we were able to create true theatrical stage looks in the middle of the action within the club, allowing our client’s guests to feel incredibly connected to the performances,” Najafi said. “As such, I was very pleasantly surprised at what I was able to accomplish with this plucky little fixture.”
Another of Najafi’s key considerations of the install regarded the relatively low ceiling height of the club itself. “As is the case in many intimate venues housed within larger properties — Spice Market is located within the Grand Hyatt Hotel — height is invariably a key problem when installing comprehensive lighting systems,” continued Najafi. “Thankfully, the compact 15-inch height of the Intimidator 350 fit very nicely hidden among the ceiling beams of the venue. Subsequently I was able to discreetly place each fixture so that they would not litter the beautiful architecture of the venue.”
Thanks to the Intimidator’s varied abilities as a compact atmosphere-shaping moving light, Najafi succeeded in giving Spice Market an extra dynamic twist to its nightly program. “For the size of the fixture, the output, gobo and color selection, speed and value are fantastic,” concluded Najafi. “The Intimidator truly exceeded all my expectations.”