NEWH - September 2008 - (Page 42)
Above, top to bottom: A custom light fixture made of
hundreds of crystals on bendable wire decorates the
entry to Aura; a closeup of the nightclub’s bar.
42 september 2008 www.newh.org tel 800.593.NEWH
Jeffrey Beers International brings a theatrical
experience to the Bahamas By Alia Akkam
Photography courtesy of JBI
WHILE LAIDBACK TROPICAL-THEMED BARS ARE DE RIGEUR in Caribbean locales like the
Bahamas, Jeffrey Beers and his team wanted Aura, the new nightclub from Pure
Management, known for PURE Las Vegas and Coyote Ugly, to be far more upscale and
high-energy than the island was accustomed to. Located inside the new 600-room
Cove Atlantis on Paradise Island, which Jeffrey Beers International also designed,
Aura is a 7,000-square-foot space reached from the Atlantis Casino via a two-story
high blue glass staircase.
“The design mission of Aura was to create a visually lush and resonant nightclub—we paid great attention to detail, from the vivid perimeter walls to the sexy,
witty bathrooms,” explains Beers. “One of the key features is the alternating LEDilluminated glass and mirror horizontal bands along the walls controlled by the DJ.
The color and mood can change from red to strobe one minute to the next.”
Masako Fukuoka, senior interior designer for the project and NEWH Greater New
York member, says there was nowhere to enjoy a glamorous nightclub experience
locally before the opening of Aura in May 2007. “The whole idea of the nightclub was
to bring Las Vegas style to the islands, because no such thing existed,” she says.
To achieve this look, Fukuoka and colleague Yvette Santiago used much
specialized glass and relied on lighting and reflection to create movement and
illusion. Backlit mirrored glass allows guests to see themselves, while losing a sense
of space. Multiple colors of glass create a “crisp and dreamy feel.”
Resembling a theater of sorts, the illuminated, sunken dance floor, surrounded by
vinyl-upholstered banquettes, offers a contrast to the elevated DJ booth, while
candle niches and gold upholstery in the pod-shaped VIP section add warmth.
Physically, the custom light fixture in Aura’s entry proved to be the most
challenging aspect of the year-long project. “It’s a crazy amount of crystals with
bendable wire like Medusa’s head,” Santiago describes with a laugh. The team had
to physically string the lights and bend each piece by hand.
For the equally striking wall and ceiling coverings printed on adhesive vinyl, JBI
turned to New York City-based Novo Arts. “The look needed to work with the
tropical locale. The wallcoverings used on the ceiling were hand-traced orchid motifs
that our designers developed, adding a narrative element so a story unfolds as you
move along the wall,” explains Michael Maxwell, Novo Arts’ executive vice
president. “We like to think that the custom imagery we’ve created for [the designers]
enhances their work and our imagery is undoubtedly enhanced by the environments
they’ve designed.” I
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - September 2008
NEWH - September 2008
Have you Seen?
On the Scene
Sustainability: Point of View
Design 101: International Project
Cover Story: Happy Feet
Save the Date
NEWH - September 2008