Cape Town faced a tidal wave of change during 2010; clubs closed, restaurants went belly up, and myriad cafés opened their doors. There’s been considerable scaling down and cutting back—presumably in keeping with the global economic climate. But just when there might have been rumours of a quieter-than-usual summer here in Africa’s southernmost city, Hg2 Cape Town author Keith Bain stepped into the under-construction interior of the first new major club offering in way too long. Initial reports are hugely promising. Here, finally, is a party space for grown-ups, designed by grown-ups.
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Pneumatic drills blast and blare; welding irons cast off dramatic flares; gaps between the stairs drop away to oblivion—there’s dust and scaffolding, the smell of flint as a blinding light is given off by laser-sparks, and wobbly makeshift gangplanks threaten to trip us up at any moment. It’s the usual ferocious mayhem of construction rapidly peeling back the layers of an ambitiously designed space.
Trinity is a multi-storey club with bars, dining outlets, and one kick-ass dancefloor scheduled to launch December 15th; with less than two weeks to go, I’m touring the audacious project in a hardhat and two lovely PR ladies showing me high-tech CG images of the final product—they point out some impressive detailing as we go. Things are definitely running a little behind schedule, with a last-minute decision to sandblast all the walls taking rather a bit longer than anticipated. But, given the size of the project, it’s a relatively slight delay, and has given designers a chance to fine-tune their imaginations, while the line-up of scheduled parties grows deeper into 2011.
Through the construction turmoil, though, it’s possible to make out most of the elements that are set to make this Cape Town’s most talked about venue. I always loved a sense of fantasy and mystery in a nightclub—a space where we hedonists can live out a dreamscape of letting go between the beautiful people whilst energising our souls to danceable beats. Even with the builders clanging away, I get a sense of the fantastical here. This is an epic space in the making,; carved out of a refashioned warehouse with modern installations tastefully grafted on, it’s modelled a bit on a grandiose monastery—with some lively architectural detailing to reflect this—but the austere influence is decidedly tongue-in-cheek, given that it’s a space designed for decadence.
Design drawings reveal a robust, imaginative aesthetic. I love how the sandblasting has revealed layers of brick in a funky industrial space; rough walls are now a natty textural backdrop to designer furnishings and state-of-the-art technology they’re shipping in. Metallic silhouettes of Gothic arches; tiers of square-cut wood columns to create a modern neo-classical entrance; patterned terrazzo tiles underfoot; Chesterfield sofas; and—the piece de resistance—a four-storey working church organ that somehow bridges the gap between religious devotion and throbbing musical entertainment. What’s definitely going to get tongues wagging, though, is the fountain in the middle of the dancefloor, topped by a trio of carved, curvaceous angels peering over the action. It’s a large, spacious, cathedral-proportioned dance arena, separated from the rest of the club by humungous antique temple doors from India and installed as sliding feature walls. Also looking down on the dancefloor will be the DJ, in a raised altar-like pod reviving that 90’s belief that God is indeed a DJ.
But, more important than the many millions they’ve spent on the space and the look, and even the sandblasted walls, is clubland’s key priority: sound. They’ve spent millions getting it just right, with two complete Funktion One systems, alleged to be the best club music platforms in existence. Frankly, I’m about ready to party between the hardhats and construction scaffolds.
For those who put liquid hedonism first, there are some nifty drink-dispensing enhancements. A vodka wall made of shifting, cracking ice forms a beautiful backdrop to one bar, while an industrial Pegasus machine dispenses shooters and cocktails at lightning speed, dramatically cutting down on dreaded waiting time. Adjacent the main dancefloor, the bar stretches 10 meters; and there’ll be mobile till points to make sure staff are on their toes whilst patrons can get on with the business of having a good time.
Aside from high-energy dance music in a sumptuous space, Trinity will also be showcasing local comedy talent on dedicated stand-up nights, and will host jazz on Mondays. There’s all-day café dining, too; and Asian cuisine—from sushi to dim sum—will be available at Trinity East, with airport-style windows overlooking the dancefloor. There’s also the chance of escaping to the roof, where a patio-style lounge and open-air garden will be complemented by moon- and star-light, a cosy fire in winter, and a sense of the surrounding buildings a la Gotham City.
I’ll be reviewing the club just as soon as I’ve had a chance to test-drive the dancefloor. In the meantime, you can make up your own mind when Trinity opens its doors on December 15th with international superstar DJ, James Zabiela, headlining. See for yourself: It’s at 15 Bennett Street, in Green Point.
Oh, and breathe easy, folks… the door policy is strictly no persons under 23.