The temptation to take a piece of the UK nightclub scene to South Korea had to be curbed by Virgile & Stone’s team when the consultancy was appointed to design a club for Samsung Group’s Hotel Shilla in Seoul.
While Samsung wanted to appeal to the new, affluent youth emerging from a rapidly rejuvenating country, it wanted to avoid alienating its clientele. ‘They may be young and affluent in South Korea, but they’re not trendy, so any club concept couldn’t be too avant garde,’ says Carlos Virgile, joint managing director at the consultancy.
‘The brief concentrated on combining vibrant entertainment, bars and a restaurant, a virtual reality games room and a karaoke gallery in a highly sophisticated and exciting environment,’ he adds.
The 800m2 club is part of a refurbishing programme at the hotel. ‘Korean nightlife tends to revolve around the hotels and Samsung wanted a state-of-the-art concept. The other clubs are dated, so we’ve used a lot of colour and discreet lighting to achieve a modern, Western effect without creating something which is too way out,’ comments Virgile.
The V&S team, led by Gillian Brown and Anna Campbell-Jones, has created a name, interiors, uniforms and graphics for everything down to the china.
The nightclub is scheduled to open in April 1996.