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Department 57 Club & Bar

Nightlife, by nature, only springs into action once the sun goes down — making lighting a crucial part of any clubbing experience. But for a dance floor to achieve the right atmosphere, it must strike a balance between illumination and intrigue. The solution: Capture lightning in a bottle, recreating that moment when the evening sky is cracked open by a brilliant flash.

In their concept for a new hot spot in Saint Petersburg, design studio DA Bureau and lighting specialists Yarko worked together to emulate a variety of bright natural phenomena. Bringing shadowy mystique and radiant spark together under the same roof, the end results energize evening activities with impressive spectacles.

Department 57 Club & Bar

In the main dance area, this translates into a series of lightning bolts that zigzag across the ceiling. Adding to the ambience, they are synchronized with the club’s music, pulsing and shifting in colour as the beat thumps. Above the DJ booth, a blazing orb stands in for the moon. The room’s prominent archways (a pre-existing architectural element) provide a stately backdrop to these luminous focal points, while the rest of the space conveys an almost heavenly minimalism.

“For a bar setting, the way it uses colour and light — in the main space and in all its transitional spaces — is quite exciting.”
Evan Jerry, AZ Awards 2024 Juror
Department 57 Club & Bar
Department 57 Club & Bar

If a lightning storm sounds too intense, a separate bar area provides a calm contrast where shimmering projections inspired by the aurora borealis dance across steel tables accented by small white table lamps. Other zones are anchored by their own signature attractions. Some hallways reflect the beauty of dusk with a soft orangey pink that delivers a gentle moment of respite from the rowdy central dance floor. Others, lit with a neon-like glow, skew closer to the supernatural spirit of a blue moon — and encourage clubgoers to continue their exploration. 

Department 57 Club & Bar

Sure enough, another “secret bar” awaits around a corner. This surreal, all-white space is modelled after an ice cave — with mesmerizing white light cast on walls sculpted to rugged effect. Of course, the club’s final effect comes only after the last song of the night has played. As the lights go on and revellers step outside, perhaps they’ll greet the morning sunrise with new appreciation.

Team: Anna Lvovskaya, Boris Lvovsky, Fedor Goreglyad, Maria Romanova and Kamila Gilmutdinova (DA Bureau) with Mikhail Andreev, Oksana Dagdaveryan and Denis Lesikov (Yarko Lighting)

Winner: Lighting Schemes
Award of Merit: Commercial and Institutional Interiors
DEPARTMENT 57 Bar & Club

Department 57 energizes evening activities with lighting spectacles that combine shadowy mystique with radiant spark.

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