When renowned restaurateur Joe Mourani decides to go into the nightclub business, brace yourselves for an exquisite experience. He is one of the few (if not only) nightclub owners who does not have any partners. According to him, this guarantees that his vision of the spaces he dreams up is realized without any compromise. There is one exception, or course, his old friend and long term collaborator Paul Kaloustian. The architect has designed with acute sensitivity and attention to detail all of Joe’s projects.

When Joe approached 21dB to be the acoustics and audio consultants on his new indoor venue (after having worked with us on Stereokitchen and Baboon), we got extremely excited to take on this challenge. This was by no means an ordinary project; it had a difficult layout that took several months of revisions and streamlining with the architect until the final layout was set.

Three spaces made up the club

The Ballroom is the main hall, where the big bookings are expected. The Lobby and its connected garden is the lounge area. The Gold Room is where the magic really happens. A room where 21dB had the most input, from the acoustic quality to the choice and distribution of the sound system. This is a room of extremely high sonic quality for critical listening (and dancing). It is probably the first space in Lebanon that can be truly labelled as a Hi-Fi club room.

The Gold Room is probably the first space in Lebanon that can be truly labeled as a Hi-Fi club room.

Having been presented with the brief, it was clear that a careful coordination in the sound and acoustic study needed to be put in place to achieve superior quality in every room, catering to the type of music that will be played in each.

The work was divided to three phases: Soundproofing / Acoustics / Sound System

In terms of soundproofing, a simulation was carried out to determine the details of the walls’ buildup between the various spaces. Additionally, and since we hate doors, we designed a highly absorbing acoustic tunnel that links three out of the four rooms together; the Ballroom, Gold room and Lobby. This acoustic tunnel, being the mother of all acoustic tunnels that we’ve ever designed, achieves a sound attenuation of >70dB between the Gold room and Ballroom, 50dB between the Lobby and the Gold room and 20dB between the Lobby and the Ballroom.

Regarding the internal acoustic quality of each space, a simulation was carried out to evaluate the reverberation time and music/speech clarity, resulting in values that were used to specify the internal acoustic treatment required. For the Gold room in particular, we took the approach of creating a highly critical listening environment, where the acoustic quality (and later the sonic reproduction quality) would provide an environment that is highly acute, in which the slightest detail in music reproduction would be clearly heard and very pleasantly enjoyed, at either low or high sound levels.

As for the speaker systems, a full sound simulation was carried out across the whole club to determine the best distribution, type and orientation of loudspeakers. A customized solution was devised for every room to deliver extremely high quality music to complement the precise acoustic environment. For the Ballroom and Lobby, a D&B Audiotechnik system was selected, while for the Gold room, we opted for a Stage Accompany sound system with Ribbon tweeter technology.