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Area Venezia

Mestre, Italy

Situated in the idyllic city of Venice, new discotheque Area Venezia has been kitted out with a state-of-the-art Dynacord Alpha Concept system and an abundance of DTS lighting products all under the supervision of a fantastic technical team.

The owner, acclaimed Italian DJ and producer Joe T Vannelli, sees the club as the culmination of his 30 years in the industry. He chose the location because, “it is impossible not to fall in love with the eternal charm of Venice.” Vannelli wanted the club to have “the best technology and design; the best sound system, the best audio system, a permanent art gallery and international guests.” He continues: “A really clear sound is what you need to create the right atmosphere in a club, it can make all the difference. It is kind of like the owner of an Italian restaurant serving spaghetti when it’s not al dente!”

With this in mind, Vannelli put together a team of highly qualified experts to carry out the install. Architect Massimo Cadamuro explains the starting point. “The pre-existing disco was in the shape of a circular amphitheatre and this is where the inspiration for the club design began. The aesthetic references are optically graphic and geometric forms relating to the circle.”

The club is a multifunctional venue on two levels which is divided into several zones, with a central dancefloor surrounded by stylishly furnished spaces, four bars, each with a different theme, and an art gallery displaying a permanent exhibition of work by designer Alex Turco. It was Cadamuro’s job to restructure and reinvent these spaces in a bid to create a venue, which would stand out from other more conventional discos. “I want people to feel like they are in a dream when they visit the club, but at the same time it should be a conscious physical experience that is unique and unrepeatable,” says Cadamuro.
The structure of the building posed some problems when it came fitting the lighting gear. Vannelli gave DTS’s Michele Sgolacchia a free hand in terms of the lighting design, which was installed by F G Lighting. Sgolacchia chose an assortment of fixtures each suitable for the area in which they were placed. He explains: “Due to the architecture of the building, a huge column right in the centre of the dancefloor and no time to change the layout I did have limitations when it came to positioning the lighting fixtures but I managed to work around it.
“Firstly, I chose the X-SCAN 575’s, very powerful scanners with an MSR 575 lamp. The only place I could really put these was above the DJ booth and along the sides, due to the low ceiling but in conjunction with everything else the scanners did fit well there.” Eight Helios LED colour changers (45W max) were used to light up the dancefloor, they are ideal for this type of installation because they make virtually no noise, have a low power consumption, do not produce much heat and in this case were practically invisible as they were built into the recess of the ceiling.

F G Lighting installed MR16 full colour LEDs as the atmospheric lighting. They light the perimeter of the ballroom, the corridors, the stairs and the toilets. They became part of the whole lighting draft, because they are controlled from the main console and have the same channels and possibilities as the bigger fixtures (strobe, random, dimmer, shutter, RGB, white). Sgolacchia continues: “I used the XR5 spots, the smallest of the DTS moving heads at the entrance, at the biggest bar zone, and on the paintings and sculptures created by Massimo. Thanks of their new optical system, these 250W lamps can actually reach the efficiency of a 575W lamp.”

The lighting fixtures are controlled by two Zero 88 consoles, one takes care of the entire club, including the bar lighting, while the other looks after the second small space within the club. Sgolacchia says Zero 88’s Ismael Portelli was a great help when it came to programming and setting-up the Leap Frog 48, which actually controls about 1000 DMX channels, with each fixture separate and independent.
Vannelli used his experienced knowledge when selecting the audio for the club and he knew exactly what he wanted, a Dynacord Concept system, even before employing Milan based pro audio company dSoundPro to carry out the audio install. Dario Juka, a specialist in his field, was in charge of the team. They too had some initial complications due to the architecture, though nothing which couldn’t be overcome, so in order to ensure the Dynacord Concept system was perfect the team ran the simulation software EASE. The results of EASE’s acoustic CAD simulations revealed the position and the direction each loudspeaker needed to take as well as the power handling attributes. With these three elements combined, Juka could ensure an even distribution of sound throughout the club, with constant sound pressure levels along both the vertical and horizontal axes.
Vannelli himself sampled the top of the range system on the clubs opening night, entertaining his audience with the latest audiovisual equipment from Pioneer. Other guest DJs who have followed in his footsteps, and have made an appearance at the club include Boy George, Niki Belucci and Satoshi Tomiie.

Area Venezia has been awarded the ‘Marchio di Venezia’, a logo designed by Thibaut Mathieu, with art direction by Philippe Starck which promotes commercial and philanthropic marketing to its official coat of arms. Venice is the first city in Italy to have one. The logo is given to those businesses that bring vibrant life and support to the city together with the aim of cultural, social and economic development.
Cadamuro is delighted with the finished club and describes his favourite aspect, “I think I appreciate the stylistic global coherence with a collection of forms, colours and images that create a refined, original but yet balanced creation.”

Sgolacchia says, “With the installation now complete, the people and technicians working at the disco in the future have all the best tools at their finger tips. They have the speed, the power, the beam and the wash, to change the disco into any colour. They can change the colour of the furnishings and adjust the lights in the best way, with minimum power consumption, the best colours, the best effects and the best special effects (a 3W RGB laser, confetti machines, geyser machines, truck horns, videos, the best audio system). All of this makes the disco!”


2 x Dynacord SUB115; 2 x Dynacord CL800; 2 x Dynacord CL2000; 6 x Dynacord DSP244; 4 x Dynacord D8; 10 x Dynacord MX15; 2 x Dynacord MT115; 5 x Dynacord CL1200; 11 x Dynacord DL96A; 1 x Dynacord PCL1225T; 4 x Dynacord D12; 4 x Dynacord ALPHA X-1/90; 2 x Dynacord ALPHA B-3; 1 x Dynacord LX1600; 2 x Dynacord LX3000; 1 x Dynacord LX2200; 1 x Dynacord Powersub 315

16 x DTS X-SCAN 575; 8 x DTS Helios full colour LED; 35 x DTS MR16 LED lamps (full colour 9W); 45 x DTS MR16 LED lamps (RGB 3W); 8 x DTS Flash 4000; 3 x DTS Strobe DMX; 25 x DTS Z1 LED controllers; 4 x DTS XR5 spot; 4 x DTS XM1200 spot; 1 x Zero 88 Leapfrog 48; 1 x Zero 88 Jester ML24






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