“Our client, the Hakkasan Group, envisioned the project as the next generation nightclub,” says Rockwell Group founder and president David Rockwell. “Shawn and his team did an amazing job of getting to the client’s core DNA to define each and every experience, from the planning and architecture, to the technology, to the materials and furniture.” Sullivan shares design details in an exclusive Q&A with Live Design:
How was the space transformed from the old Pure to the new Omnia, considering the architectural design concepts and process, including how you collaborated with the various folks like Willie Williams, etcetera?
The space that we renovated had a rich history. When Pure opened a decade ago, it transformed Las Vegas into a town where visitors could not only gamble, dine, and be entertained, but also hear the best DJs in the world. We were excited by the existing heritage, but we wanted to take it to a whole other level.
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Pure was a much smaller venue. The former Pure space is now essentially the Heart of Omnia, an ultra-luxurious, state-of-the-art lounge. The Main Club is a new space that was previously the poker tournament room for Caesars Palace. The rooftop was a popular spot on the Las Vegas Strip that was previously part of Pure. We got to rethink the space from scratch to create an intimate outdoor lounge space with its own DJ.
Our goal was to design an environment that wasn’t just about the main dance floor when the lights are dimmed. We wanted to create a room where internationally renowned DJs would really want to play. Looking back from the booth, the DJ should feel like he or she is performing in a room with design character, not a basic black box with technology. We researched the choreography of clubs— how people move from room to room. We also spent a lot of time studying details of intimate European opera houses that could be re-imagined in a modern way.
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We collaborated with a lot of folks. The Hakkasan Group has a lot of experience developing and operating nightclubs, and they really understand how these spaces function. We had great sessions with TAIT, Focus Lighting, AudioTek, and Willie Williams.
How does the architecture serve to make the space so exciting, and what does such a club represent in terms of a gathering place?
Omnia is a beautiful, fresh, and engaging space. Our design incorporates technology into the architecture in a way that the technology becomes an integral part of the environment. You arrive in a timeless way, up a grand staircase, but also passing through multiple portals clad in stone tile and LCD screens behind black one-way mirrors that create an ever-changing environment as guests enter the Main Club. These corridors help set the tone and the “wow” factor for the main rooms.
Sumptuous, highly tactile materials, including gold and crocodile-embossed leathers, brass, velvet, and glass, were selected to create plush and opulent club and lounge spaces. We even integrated the architectural lighting – not just club lighting – into the DJ’s toolkit so that even the sconces and furniture have the potential to be part of the lighting effects during a show. In every room, you feel like you are immersed in an otherworldly environment.