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September / October 2008


Vanilla was formerly The Winchester Club, but was redeveloped last year into an all-white venue.

Vanilla caters for private and corporate events. The sleek and stylish atmosphere offers customers a flawless combination of business and pleasure which makes Vanilla a perfect choice for functions, events, photo-shoots and private parties.

Customers can come to Vanilla and enjoy a meal cooked by Head chef, Izu Ani, or they can choose to relax in the sophisticated lounge area with an expertly mixed cocktail.

The redesign was carried out by Matthieu Destandau and David Alberto. Destandau has been in the business for ten years, one of his most memorable success stories is CVO Firevault, a bar and restaurant in London. Alberto, chief executive of Avanta, headhunted Destandau especially for the project.

It was Destandau that had the initial idea of creating an all white club, as he had seen a similar concept at Supperclub (Bert van der Leden’s successful group of clubs designed by Concrete Architects). He wanted the flexibility to accommodate a range of different themes and events. “I was determined at Vanilla that if we wanted to throw, for instance a Pink Party, we could do so by changing the interior using LED’s. I thought it would be cool to be able to change the environment at a flick of a switch, and it would be great for the corporate market.”

Destandau and Alberto enlisted the help of The Sound Division Group to carry out the installation at Vanilla. They gave them a design brief which was to achieve the operator’s dream whilst being discreet and flexible. To achieve this, Sound Division blended some of the lighting and audio products amongst the interior. They also decided to divide the club into four sections: the restaurant; main bar and lounge area; the dance floor and the toliets. The four zones were controlled by a dbx ZonePRO640.

Heading the install was technical manager David Homewood, along with Sound Division’s Installation Manager Elliot Patterson and Richard Astley (of JL Contracting). In the restaurant they installed four corner mounted JBL Control 23’s driven by a Crown Xls 202 , while in the main bar and central lounge area a JBL Control 24CM flush ceiling solution was fitted. Four JBL Control 28’s provide a spectacular sound in the dance area, with a ground stacked Martin AQ12 sub hitting the lower frequencies. 8-Track Music Solutions have provided a selection of soft jazz, chill and R&B music which can be played into one or all of the different sections of the club.  “I was impressed with the way they operated the site; Homewood was particularly helpful - although the programming was tricky the operation is straightforward,” says Destandau. He continues, “8-Track Music Solutions developed an immediate feeling for what we wanted to achieve and if I need a bit more R&B, House or Chill I can just call them up. Also the software gives you a title readout and the name of the upcoming track - so if customers ask what is playing we can tell them. The software also beat matches the tracks and bends the whole soundscape together.”

Lighting Effects Distribution supplied lengths of LED X-Chip which are installed all over the venue, from the bar and kitchen areas to the ceiling coves and even the toilets. The intergration of the LEDs into sandblasted glass and mirror frames was a fairly new concept for Sound Division, however with some creative thinking they succeeded to the satisfaction of the owners.

Overall Destandau and Alberto were very pleased with the design of Vanilla and are looking forward to entertaining the business meetings and lunchtime diners during the day all the way through to the evening and late night clubbers.





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