Distrikt Club

Toronto, Ontario

Distrikt is a former 13,000-square-foot club night located in the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district. Occupying the ground floor and basement of an existing warehouse shell, the club is less a response to the city around it than it is about the spectacle of people and architecture within. To this end, Distrikt creates its own environment, a dynamic array of enticing spaces that encourage exploration and engagement.

An attenuated entry sequence creates a heightened anticipatory experience to the subterranean space. A rear laneway entrance provides access to the club, and a stair funnels circulation down to a long narrow tunnel with canted walls. These slanting vertical surfaces are punctuated with slivers of light from backlit translucent acrylic panels, casting an otherworldly glow. In contrast to the compressed experience of the tunnel, clubbers are greeted by a large open space featuring a bar and dance floor. They can choose to remain and enjoy this room’s unique ambiance, or there is the possibility of ascending a larger secondary stair up to the club’s primary ground-floor space. Here, they are met with a variety of zones that engender activity and exchange. A semi-private VIP area on a raised platform occupies one end of the room, distinguished by three-sided banquettes that create intimate seating clusters. Warm wood tones and neutral shades exude sophistication and exclusivity, as does the provision of a private bar and facilities. The dance floor occupies the centre of the room, presided over by a glittering disco ball measuring seven feet in diameter. On either end, two long bars wrought from walnut service the crowds. Against this calming and sophisticated palette of wood finishes, pops of coloured light in red, blue and green animate the club to create a palpable sense of energy and frisson.

Ultimately, a rich sectional dynamic of raised platforms on two floors, distinct zones of activity and exaggerated design elements – manifest in the inordinate length of the bars, stairs and tunnel – play against the larger building shell to distort spatial and visual perception, thereby creating an enhanced sense of theatre, spectacle and performance.

photo: Tom Arban