A bold and imaginative example of how to repurpose a neglected building and breathe life back into it could not be more vividly demonstrated than turning a 125-year-old church into a modern restaurant and nightclub.
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Few would be so tenacious, but US based hospitality and venue operator David Cardaci not only had the vision, but also the ambition coupled with over 20-years’ experience in the hospitality and leisure sector. And so, in early December 2021, after a project taking well over two and a half years, and in the midst of a global pandemic, The Angeles nightclub and Holly Blue restaurant in Fort Lauderdale Florida USA opened their doors to a capacity audience and high praise from the club and restaurant goers, and critics alike.
This is a high-end, high-profile 11,000 square foot, multi-purpose transformation for David and his team at Knallhart Management Group, as well as being a flagship installation for Void Acoustics. Void Acoustics has provided the audio systems throughout the three spaces in the venue – serving the distinct and individual requirements of the restaurant ‘Holly Blue’; the VIP ‘Marvin’s Room’ (described as ‘dark, sexy and rich’ by David); and the main space, nightclub ‘The Angeles’ which boasts a fully-fledged custom Void Incubus system.
As an integrator, David is known for his large scale and imaginative projects which in the past have included Florida venues Rhythm & Vine, The Wilder and Roxanne’s Liquor Bar & Kitchen, and when the opportunity came along to take a long-term lease on the abandoned ‘First Evangelical Lutheran Church’ in Flagler Village, Fort Lauderdale, the prospect was too great a challenge for him to turn down.
David’s vision incorporated his respect for the historical building and its original features, in particular the beautiful stained-glass windows which are a distinctive element of The Angeles nightclub. Whilst he was restricted on maintaining the exterior of the building as it was, he had carte-blanche for the interior of the building. And armed with this blank canvas, he set about delivering a high-end install featuring the very best audio, lighting, and AV available.
The Incubus covers the entire audio spectrum, with each element of the system addressing specific bands in order to cover the full range of the music being played. It also offers exceptional control about how the music is heard because the ranges are so well defined. “We wanted the best, and I believe we got the best
“Fort Lauderdale’s first-ever high-energy nightclub needed a high-energy high-end audio system!” smiles David. “We took over the venue in early 2019 since then we have brought our vision to life, designing and installing a high-spec venue to do justice to the space it occupies. The pandemic actually hasn’t really impacted us – what has taken so long has been the attention to detail for the venue to deliver the high-quality finish you see in the venue today.”
And with his own in-house design team at Knallhart Management Group, David has been able to control the crafting of his vision to carefully restore the building. At the heart of this is the Void Acoustics system.
The Angeles nightclub is the centrepiece of the three venues covering approximately 6,000 square foot, capacity of 650-700 people and combining two floors with the main floor and the VIP mezzanine aptly named ‘The Confessional’. It is within this two-floor club space where club-goers will experience the Void Acoustics’ flagship Incubus system. This aspirational system encapsulates the design philosophy running through all Void products of extraordinary design aesthetics coupled with unparalleled sound quality.
The Incubus system is not only a statement piece, but it is a complete sound system for large design-led clubs like The Angeles. “We had to have this system,” explains David. “In all honesty, I am a bit of an audio-geek, and in many ways, because I knew the Incubus was what I wanted, we had to design the club around the audio system!”
The Incubus covers the entire audio spectrum, with each element of the system addressing specific bands in order to cover the full range of the music being played. It also offers exceptional control about how the music is heard because the ranges are so well defined. “We wanted the best, and I believe we got the best,” says David.
“If I am honest, way back when I first discovered Void products, it was the aesthetics which first appealed to me. And when I first heard the system demoed I was concerned that it wasn’t going to replicate anything other than dance music. But having now done several installations working with Void Acoustics systems I realise it not only looks amazing but functions incredibly well for any type of music genre. Live music … hip hop … EDM … festival house music – all kinds of music. I can honestly say Void Acoustics reacts well to every genre and every application I’ve ever asked it to deliver on.”
At the base of the Incubus are the Incubus Subs with hybrid horns covering the sub-bass octaves and covering 20 Hz to 65 Hz. Sitting on top of the Incubus Subs are Hyperfold Subs – optimising the punchy fast bass octaves. At the top are the Incubus Top – the Air Arrays covering mid-bass, mid-range and high-frequency, all of which are custom painted in a stunning Graphite Grey.
Additional fill in The Angeles is supplied by the Stasys 118, Venu 115 V2 and Venu 215 V2 subwoofers, as well as carefully positioned Air Motion speakers with their iconic styling and incredible performance capabilities to ensure full audio coverage throughout the room. As is possible with Void Acoustics products, the system components were all custom coloured along with the Incubus to complement the overall venue design and colour palette.
Ensuring the DJ experiences the audio quality of the Void system as well as the club-goers, monitoring is handled by two Air Vantages paired with bare wood Venu 215 subwoofers and the overall system of The Angeles is supported by the powerful Bias Q5 amplifiers alongside the Bias Q2 amplifier.
The creation of this unique nightclub venue wasn’t without its challenges, the main one being potential sound leakage. “It’s not every day you convert a building over 100 years old into a nightclub, and so noise leakage could have been a potential problem!” grins David. “We were particularly aware of this as the building is in the middle of a dense residential area of Fort Lauderdale. But we consulted with the local community throughout and we’ve not heard a peep from them since the venue opened in December 2021,” he continues.
“The insulation of the building to avoid noise leakage was one of the biggest investments we made when converting the building. We did a huge amount of work on the ceiling, as well as applying multiple layers to the walls and on the windows, which alone have been renovated with two layers of hurricane impact glass. Not surprisingly with a 100+ year old structure, every time we peeled back a wall or another part of the roof, another challenge revealed itself. And so we had to take a great deal of care, alongside a considerable investment to ensure the building was fit-for-purpose and in order to minimise noise disturbance to those in the locality. The end result has been a structure which keeps the sound confined to the specific areas of the venue and prevents any noise leakage at all, either inter-venue, or from inside to outside.”
The main restaurant ‘Holly Blue’ has indoor and outdoor veranda space and can accommodate 220 covers. It has been elegantly designed to offer stylish dining and cocktail areas. The Void installation was intended to be minimalist but effective. Using the weather-protected IP-55 rated Cyclone 8 and Cyclone Bass meant the audio design could be replicated on the outside veranda as well as inside, providing seamless sound and design throughout the restaurant. Supported by Indigo 6S, Indigo 6 Pro and Indigo Subs alongside Cirrus 6.1 ceiling speakers, Holly Blue’s audio system was integrated with the Bias Q1 energy-saving and low carbon footprint amplifier.
Marvin’s Room is a small, 450 square foot room off the main restaurant which has the feel of a boutique cocktail lounge for up to thirty-five guests, clad with wood ceilings and walls, and a handmade parquet floor. Perfect for intimate VIP parties, the Void system in this room includes the sculpted Indigo 6 Pro speakers – a higher power version of the Indigo 6S which offer improved efficiency and audio output and is perfect for audio enthusiasts like David! Complemented by the Indigo Sub speakers and operating with the Bias Q1 amplifier, this system serves the small, intimate bar lounge environment of Marvin’s Room in a perfectly stylish and high-quality audio way.
David couldn’t be more pleased with the final audio outcome. “I have to say the Void team are a pleasure to work with, and the product itself is absolutely incredible. Our club-goers at The Angeles have not only told us they can hear the difference…they can ‘feel’ the difference. It is loud, of that there is no doubt. But it is built correctly for clarity – in short it surpasses everything I have ever worked with in the past.”
Images copyright ©Max Riehn, Maxson Media LLC
If you enjoyed the bespoke Incubus system that features in The Angeles, visit the Blitz nightclub Case Study here https://voidacoustics.com/case-study/blitz
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