Sound Division uses LEDs to whip up a Vanilla Surprise

Aug. 20, 2007
A London cocktail bar has an all-white interior with LED lighting to create different party moods.
After transforming CVO Firevault in London’s Great Titchfield Street into an ultra-chic cocktail bar and party venue, Matthieu Destandau was headhunted by David Alberto, chief executive of Avanta, the company which operates the nearby Media Village Business Centre.

The two men set about converting the somewhat drab, integral basement "canteen", known as the Winchester Club, into the resplendent all-white Vanilla.

One of the features Destandau had lamented about Firevault was the rigid interior, and the fact that it couldn’t readily be changed to accommodate a themed party.

“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 LEDs," he says. "I thought how cool it would be to change the environment at a flick of a switch, and how great it would be for the corporate market.”

Working with Carole Cobban from the architectural firm Amalgam, Destandau conceived the idea of using a crystal white backdrop throughout.

The Sound Division Group were given an exact brief, and to achieve the operator’s dream, they enlisted the help of Lighting Effects Distribution, who provided lengths of LED X-Chip that would wash, uplight and backlight the bar front and rear (including bottle washes), the kitchen front, the coves and even the toilets.

The system was designed so that the gentle crossfade could be almost imperceptible over a period of time, or revved up later at night. “You can really feel the difference when the venue transforms from from pink to blue,” observes Destandau.

While technical project manager David (Woody) Homewood was programming a number of simple-to-operate lighting states into the AR12 controller, Sound Division’s Installation Manager Elliot Patterson together with Richard Astley (of JL Contracting) was designing the venue into four zones, controlled and remotely operated by a dbx ZonePRO 640.