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September / October 2008


Situated inside Casino Knokke is the recently refurbished Zuri Club. With Knokke being one of Belgium’s most exclusive resorts, Zuri already has a lot in its favour, but with the help of interior designer Gerd Couckhuyt and his extraordinary designs, this club is sure to be a huge success.

Knokke was once an artists’ paradise but in the 20th century transformed into a seaside resort. The opening of a club such as Zuri is a wish come true for owners Chris Muylle and Carl Pollyn, they wanted to introduce a trendy nightclub in order to attract a new crowd.

“Zuri came from the synergy of different people who had a mutual dream. Creating the Zuri Club in Knokke was not the end point of that dream but only the start,” says Muylle.

The perception of Zuri is complex in its simplicity. On first impression it appears pure and simple but on closer inspection the intricate detail and deconstructive style comes alive. Muylle tells mondo*dr, “On site there was an existing club, totally out of date and it covered the entire structure of the building. We had to demolish this first to discover the raw space. Several adaptations of the plans were necessary and of course the biggest challenge was the time delay. We actually managed the total demolition and reconstruction in only six weeks. So, we were lucky we could count on a big team of people that was perfectly orientated by Gerd.”

Straight lines were a necessary part of the design due to the functionality and the original construction of the building, but they act as a perfect balance with the use of dynamic forms.

Pollyn had worked with Couckhuyt before on another project, B-in, Bruges. So he introduced Muylle and together they invited Couckhuyt to co-ordinate the design of Zuri. Muylle says of Couckhuyt: “Gerd had this fabulous idea about creating a club in an entire white setting. I guess we believed in that idea from that first moment and the rest just happened. At that point we didn’t have any idea what the final result would be...besides it is not just the interior that is important but also the atmosphere you create and how people experience it. Offering people a wonderful time, that was our goal.”

Zuri offers its clubbers a selection of cocktails, beers and champagne and also serves finger food, mainly sushi, but for those with a more expensive palette, one can sample Royal Belgian Gold Label Caviar. The club caters for business events and private parties, promising an exclusive and superb location, which is new, trendy and stylish. Throughout the summer months of July and August Zuri is open daily and in the quieter months the club opens just at the weekends.

As the night draws in at Zuri, sliding doors and the wall behind the bar open up allowing clubbers to experience the full flow of the venue while enjoying a mixture of the latest fresh electronic down-tempo, disco and deep-house followed later in the evening by some uplifting quality house and minimal beats.

Lighting specialist Lux Lumen was selected to supply the lighting fixtures and control, all of which was installed by Verscheure Domotica. CEO Filip Verscheure and his team fitted the club with custom designed LED fixtures that characterize the main dance floor. Alongside additional LED units, Verscheure Domotica also installed a number of Modular halogen fixtures that produce a welcoming contrast to the stylish LEDs amongst the white décor. Zuri’s interior has been liken to a futuristic spaceship but is transformed when, the intricate lighting creates fascinating affects.

Lux Lumen chose Visual Productions’ VisualDMX for the club’s lighting control. The control software was installed with two USB connected DMX Outputs to reach the required channel count for the 270 LED pixels plus various dimmer racks. Key to this VisualDMX set-up is the touch screen computer running the VisualTouch software. VisualTouch offers click-and-go touch screen control of all programmed cues within VisualDMX. This means that even non-technical staff members are able to operate the lighting system with ease.

Lux Lumen’s Rudi Antonissen said: “We looked for the best possible lighting controller that would be affordable. VisualDMX’s inbuilt matrix controller was also an important criteria for this project; it allows us to map all LED fixtures into a matrix and then run 2-dimensional effects on them. It would have been an endless task to manually programme each pixel one by one.

The expertise of Couckhuyt and Antonissen worked well together, with Couckhuyt having a design pre-conception in his mind. “Our objective for the club’s effect lighting was to come up with a fixture that by itself was already appealing to look at during the day. Then to have a control system that from the evenings on adds effects and dynamics to the fixtures,” he says. “We gave Lux Lumen carte blanche regarding their choice for a control system; we trust them to be up to date with the control technologies available in the market today.”

Couckhuyt was very pleased with the outcome of the new lighting system, as he explains: “When the installation of the fixtures and system were finished and we saw the result for the first time, we were taken aback by its effect. The system has many more possibilities then we originally expected.”





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