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Hilversum, The Netherlands

Opened last November, Rex is the second Hilversum venue from operator Marco van Velthooven. His first, Musk, a lounge-restaurant situated just down the road from its new sibling, has proved a huge success since its launch four years ago. With Rex, van Velthooven hopes to repeat the trick on a slightly grander scale.

Originally built as a cinema, for the last 15 years the venue has operated as a private museum for slot machines and jukeboxes.  “It’s a great spot; a monument right in the centre of Hilversum,” says van Velthooven. “Everyone wanted to have it, but the owner wasn’t interested in selling or renting it. When it came on the market, we knew it was too great an opportunity to miss.”

Having successfully acquired the building, van Velthooven set about totally remodelling the interior. Whereas Musk operates as a combined club and restaurant space, Rex keeps both elements apart with separate entrances and two very different styles. Thus the groundfloor houses a tasteful restaurant space, while upstairs lies the more extravagant nightclub.

The club’s interior was designed by Eric Kuster of, the man also responsible for Amsterdam’s iconic Jimmy Woo (mondo*dr issue 14.3). For Rex, he took inspiration from the dark world of Batman’s Gotham City. Purple, black and gold are used liberally throughtout the main room while in the VIP area on the mezzanine level, gold leather couches and deep carpets add an extra layer of extravagance.

Undoubtable the most striking element is the main room’s circular LED lighting feature. Designed and installed by DEP and inspired by the music video for Lenny Kravitz’s Are You Gonna Go My Way, this was perhaps the most challenging part of the install. The DEP team was headed by Robert Burgstad.

“The brief was to create a cosmopolitan club with an international feel,” says Burgstad. “Apart from creating an eccentric but pleasant ambience in the club and the restaurant, we definitely wanted to create the wow-sensation that you get from the LED-ceiling.”

To make the process as quick as possible, the custom-made mounting frame, rectangular shaped profiles and corresponding wires were all prefabricated so that the final install took just under one week.
DEP chose to combined the LEDs with warm halogen lighting and, to create the right mixed of the two, a Lightec dimmer system was installed and programmed so that any member of staff can easily adjust the light levels and therefore the ambience of the room.

In the main room, the LED ceiling is set up so that it can be operated either by a light jockey or set to automatic and take triggers from the music being played. To achieve this, DEP opted for a combination of a Martin Maxedia Mediaserver, Martin Lightjockey and a Fingers controller.
The remaining light effects - Martin Atomics and high power blinder effects – were hidden behind decorative two-way mirror circles on the wall, leaving the LED ceiling free from clutter.

For the audio side of the install, van Velthooven turned to Michel van de Beek of PB Audio, a Dutch company who had previously worked on Musk and Jimmy Woo. As with both those projects, PB Audio chose a Funktion One system.

“Funktion One is the only system that gives me that really big smile on my face or goosebumps when the right track is played on them,” explains van de Beek.

Being brought in late in the design process meant placing the subs was initially a little challenging -  the final solution involved mounting them on stands behind the benches in the back corners of the room with R4S’s flown above.

At the other end of the room, the team suspended two R2SH’s from the balcony. These are processed as surround-speakers, making everyone on the dancefloor feel totally immersed in sound. For balcony fills, two more R2SH’s were used with two F88’s for the bar.

”I always try to design the system in such a way that all the sound seems to come from one source, true to the philosophy of Funktion One: striving for that optimum transient response,” says van de Beek. “This doesn’t only make the sound better, but helps in controlling the levels and even in preventing sound-pollution.”

With the right mix of audio and lighting in place, Rex seems set to become the new king in town.


Custom made LED ceiling with extruded aluminum profile black coated  3200 DMX channels (11 universes); 1 x Martin Pro Maxedia Mediaserver + Martin Pro Lightjockey control combination; 1 x Martin Pro Fingers lighting controller; 2 x Martin Atomic;  2 x Martin Pro LED exterior (outdoor); 1 x Martin Pro 2000 smoke machine with fan; 2 x 2-way blinder effect (120-650W DWE); 1 x Lightec digital dimmer system;  8 x Par 56 long black 300W MFL;  1 x Tailormade DEP-Rail Circle (stage lighting); 250 x downlight fixtures AR111 and MR16

2 x Funktion One R4S; 4 x Funktion One R2SH; 2 x Funktion One F221; 2 x Funktion One F88; 2 x Funktion One R1 (monitoring); 3 x Pioneer CDJ-1000; 1 x Pioneer DJM-800; 1 x Midas Venice 160; 1 x AudioTechnica ATW-3141 Wireless microphone + receiver; 1 x Funktion One XO4; 2 x Funktion One XO2; 1 x Funktion One E45; 1 x Funktion One Q30; 3 x MC2 T 2000





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