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Secret Room

  • Prize
    Winner in Interior Design Middle East
  • Company/Firm
    Studio Paolo Ferrari
  • Lead Designer
    Paolo Ferrari
  • Lead Designer(Other)
    Photography Credit - Virgil Bertrand
  • Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Project Date
    September 2018
  • Architect
    Five Global Holdings
  • Interior Designer
    Studio Paolo Ferrari
  • Hospitality
    Five Global Holdings
  • Developer
    Five Global Holdings

Tasked with reinterpreting the classic speakeasy and to create a destination bar deep within the lower levels of the Five Hotel on the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, the Secret Room concept was to anchor the idea of bacchanalian decadence with a feeling of noble restraint by articulating the duality of history (the past) and invention (the future).

The Dalí-esque statement bar speaks to the future, while soft furnishings conjure up an aesthetic reminiscent of the ’60s and ’70s. The classic interior architecture of the walls, ceiling, and floors delves farther back still, alluding to pre-20th century. Through this lens, this series of time-travelling assemblages complement each other, rather than overwhelm.

Mirrors throughout the nightclub visually expand the sultry space, but it is upon opening a door to the bathroom that guests are transported to the Secret Room’s most experimental area. The act of moving from a dimly-lit paneled corridor to an expansive, multi-dimensional space is otherworldly. The execution of the floor’s glass finish was a particular challenge, as it had to take into account texture and slip resistance while not dulling its striking visual impact.