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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Nightclub
  4. United States
  5. Belzberg Architects
  6. 2008
  7. The Conga Room / Belzberg Architects

The Conga Room / Belzberg Architects

  • 01:00 - 18 August, 2011
The Conga Room / Belzberg Architects
The Conga Room / Belzberg Architects, © Fotoworks-Benny Chan
© Fotoworks-Benny Chan

Courtesy of Belzberg Architects Courtesy of Belzberg Architects © Fotoworks-Benny Chan  © Fotoworks-Benny Chan  +46

  • Architects

  • Location

    Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Architect

    Belzberg Architects
  • Structural Consultant

    John Martin & Associates
  • Mechanical Consultant

    John Dorius & Associates
  • Electrical Consultant

    A & F Consulting Engineers
  • Plumbing Consultant

    Tom Nasrollahi
  • General Contractor

    Winters-Schram Associates
  • Special Fabrication

    Spectrum Oak
  • Area

    14000.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2008
  • Photographs

    Fotoworks-Benny Chan , Courtesy of Belzberg Architects

From the architect. The Conga Room, in its new location at LA LIVE in downtown Los Angeles across from the Staples Center, is the city’s premier Latin nightclub. The space will feature today’s hottest Latin performers in its 14,000 square foot live venue space, which includes a restaurant, three distinct bars, patio seating, and a VIP lounge and private room. In addition, the club will host LA TV and world-renowned DJs adjacent to the stage and above the crowd, adding even more excitement to the ambiance. Perhaps the club design’s greatest intent is to be true to the energy of the Latin community, to pay homage to its roots and deep history while infusing it with Los Angeles’ fervent modern lifestyle.

© Fotoworks-Benny Chan
© Fotoworks-Benny Chan

For over a decade, the Conga room has been a Los Angeles cultural landmark. The Latin live music and dance venue was LA’s center for Salsa and Rumba. The original location closed in 2006 with the goal of opening a new venue in the new “LA Live” complex in Downtown, Los Angeles. The new home would contain a 16,000 sq ft live music and dance space made up of a multitude of programs—a large dance floor, a stage, multiple VIP areas, a full-service restaurant and three bars, each with their own unique environment. Collaboration with Cuban artist Jorge Pardo and Mexican muralist Sergio Arau, designers of the Papaya Bar and Surface Tattoos, respectively, was essential.

© Fotoworks-Benny Chan
© Fotoworks-Benny Chan

As if coordinating and blending the variegated programs and styles together wasn’t challenging enough, the space, originally planned for office use, had a very low and equipment-filled ceiling to negotiate and needed to operate within a mixed-use building. As a consequence, three major factors began to drive the design process: First, the space had to be acoustically isolated from the rest of the building while simultaneously performing acoustically for its performers and patrons. Second, it was anticipated that the club would continuously be filled to capacity, thus most conventional architectural devices—walls and floors, would be obfuscated by patrons. Finally, the club was located on the second floor of the building off of the main plaza—a classic foible for restaurant and club operators who commonly have difficulty in beguiling patrons up a flight of stairs or elevators. The solution was to use the ceiling to perform as the spatial organizer, the primary acoustical isolater/amplifer and event attractor.

© Fotoworks-Benny Chan
© Fotoworks-Benny Chan

In an effort to meet the client’s desires for an aesthetic that reflected the vibrancy and dynamism of Latin culture, the ceiling surface, fashioned from a series of Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC)-milled, painted plywood panels, was created from an assemblage of diamond patterns, which were initially derived from the classic Cuban Rumba dance step. Each panel represented a Petal while groupings of six Petals constituted a Flower. Parametric 3D modeling and building performance software aided in the proliferation of the Flowers in a unified, undulating surface that waned and blossomed, delineating each of the unique environments within the club. As the event attractor, the ceiling panels converged into a 20-foot tall glowing Tornado that penetrated the dance floor, inviting and guiding patrons up to the activities in the club. To further intensify the experience, the room boasted an integral, state-of-the-art LED lighting system which gave the ceiling the ability to change color and atmosphere at the push of the button or even react to, in real time, the rhythms and sounds of the music, becoming an active participant in the scene.

© Fotoworks-Benny Chan
© Fotoworks-Benny Chan

In addition to aesthetic concerns, the ceiling had to mitigate complex building infrastructure goals specific to that of a live music venue. Multiple lighting systems, audio visual systems, mechanical systems and fire/life safety systems, among many others, had to be considered. As previously mentioned, various acoustical considerations had to be explored and controlled. The parametric design model allowed the porosity of the ceiling to be manipulated based on feedback from performance, based on data collected from various acoustic analysis software packages. In effect, the ceiling was not an infinitely thin surface extended to all corners but rather a Deep Surface, layering and mitigating multiple constituencies to create a complex piece of building infrastructure providing both a dynamic visual environment as well as a great place to listen to music.

Axon
Axon
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "The Conga Room / Belzberg Architects" 18 Aug 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/160584/the-conga-room-belzberg-architects/>
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13 Comments

Hume Internationale · September 08, 2011

Check the walls on this one. http://t.co/abCUZDy

Hume Internationale · September 08, 2011

The design team were given a free hand on this one. http://t.co/ONjEJcl

Hume Internationale · September 08, 2011

This one is out there: The Conga Room / Belzberg Architects http://j.mp/pXuAYM

GAby Menta · August 23, 2011

The Conga Room. http://t.co/BtJhBuj

Nicholas Patten · August 23, 2011

The Conga Room. http://t.co/0ipbr2m

Guilhardo Barros · August 22, 2011

lindo d+ : The Conga Room / Belzberg Architects http://t.co/7Q92o3C via @archdaily

Gastón Rojas · August 21, 2011

The Conga Room http://t.co/byxlUc7 vía @archdaily -- La misma idea tuvo un amigo para su proyecto de titulo el 2007 http://t.co/di1sSFj

Makio135 Daily Insp · August 19, 2011

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Nathalie CARA · August 19, 2011

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Zero X · August 19, 2011

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Brigitte · August 19, 2011

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Travel Writer · August 19, 2011

RT| The Conga Room / Belzberg Architects: © Belzberg ArchitectsThe Conga Room, in its new location a... http://t.co/H53MmnV @archdaily

Adam Rubin · August 19, 2011

The Conga Room / Belzberg Architects | ArchDaily http://t.co/osR1GLd

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