AMX Modero Touch Screens
AMX NI – 4100 Netlinx Integrated Controller
Symnet ARC 2 Adaptive Remote Control
Symnet 8x8 DSP System Processor
Symnet Break In 12 Analogue Input Unit
Symnet Break out 12 Analogue Output Unit.
ARC PS Remote Power Supply
d & b Audiotechnik D12 amplifiers
d & b CI 60 2 Way Fullrange Speakers
d & b E12 Sub Bass Cabinets
d & b E3 2 Way Fullrange Speakers
RCF TT-08A Self Powered Speakers (DJ Monitors)
1 Emstream 5 Output Hard Disk Music System
The Katarzyna Group has expanded their prolific and undoubtedly impressive profile of Brisbane’s best entertainment venues – Press Club, Family nightclub, Empire Hotel and Birdee Num Num – to include their newest venue “Cloudland”, the brainchild of Managing Director Raphael Bickle.
Spanning four levels, with a retractable glass roof that opens with the touch of a button, Cloudland is designed to be a veritable ‘urban oasis’. Although the idea of an open-air venue is far from new, Cloudland couldn’t be further removed from your average beer garden. Springing from designer Nic Brunner’s vivid imagination, Cloudland is more like a film set for a futuristic Garden of Eden, operating as an architecturally brave bar, restaurant and function space.
Patrons are visually stunned by: 5,000 plants climbing and sprawling over a 14 metre interior wall; a 10 metre waterfall; imaginative pieces like a solid hand carved ‘China white’ marble bar; and a glass bar made from 19,000 glass balls threaded by hand.
Cloudland’s interior design almost defies description.
After three years in the making this genre-breaking dining and bar experience is a heady combination of over-the-top decoration and contemporary design inspired by nature – infused with a gritty eco-sensibility.
If Cloudland’s design was to be given a tag, ‘mad maximalism’ meets ‘neo-deco’ might fit the bill.
Melbourne designer, Nic Brunner has a track record when it comes to designing spectacular spaces in Brisbane. Brunner created a buzz with his fit-out for the Press Club in Fortitude Valley 10 years ago, and followed up with the funky interior for Family – one of the city’s hottest dance clubs. When the Katarzyna Group decided to create Cloudland, Brunner was the obvious choice.
With a decidedly curvaceous and timeless yet modern feel emanating throughout the four levels, Cloudland effortlessly transcends eras, clichés and standard hospitality architectural guidelines. It has been transformed from what was essentially a spare lot, into a fantastical bar and restaurant, the likes of which has never been seen before in Brisbane.
Concepts and Inspiration
From open tree-top watering holes in the jungles of South America, to the pulsing beat of a chic Parisian discotheque, the inspiration behind Cloudland is an unexplainable yet delightful fusion of cultures and customs. Cloudland’s design holds people’s interest in ways they might not even notice, making it a great place for them to lose themself for a few hours.
Designer, Nic Brunner explains, "Ultimately people hang around bars because of the level of staff, the vibe, and the type of people. But it’s much better to bring people together in a social sense, in the way they sit together and share the experience”.
“My challenge is always to create a place where people feel good and like going to. A lot of the time it's an intangible thing. Punters don't know why they like a place, but it feels good – maybe it’s the feng shui of the place.”
“The whole idea is that when you go out, you don’t want to go somewhere that’s like a house. When you create something like this, it’s a fantasy world where people can feel like they don’t have to worry about inhibitions,” Nic says.
The garden theme – albeit urban and gritty, given its Ann Street address – provided much of the inspiration for the three levels.
In keeping with the urban grittiness of The Valley – known for its alternative music and bar scene – the façade is a three-storey artwork made of concrete, steel and glass, designed to captivate passerbyers on the ever busy Ann Street.
The front façade has rings that spin and 4900 lighting channels that create a thrilling show. Incorporated into the façade are curvy wrought-iron planter boxes, turning the exterior into a lush vertical garden.
The venue’s name is no charade; there truly are clouds at Cloudland. The retractable glass roof is an entity of its own – and with a simple press of button in less than two minutes punters can experience 200sqm of fresh, clear air – a standout feature in Brisbane’s balmy climate.
“At night it’s fantastic. You don’t notice it at first, but when you look up there are stars and you can watch clouds going past,” designer Nic Brunner says.
The Living Walls - Organic in Every Way
Inside Cloudland, the garden theme continues with planters linking the floors, vertical gardens and water features. All the plants were chosen for their ability to survive unaided by soil. Instead they live off mineral stones, fed nutrients through an irrigation system.
Plants spill out of galvanized metal troughs mounted on the walls, while plantings run along the back of the bar and even inside the men's toilets.
Tree Wall Motif
Simultaneously eco and techno, a 10 metre high tree stands, made from cut logs and resin flowers that change colour as they light up; depending on the seasons and the mood of the venue.
Mirrored on the ground floor, the Cloudland tree pattern lives again, inlaid into the ground using crushed beer and wine bottles. The surrounding floor represents a ‘jigsaw puzzle’ made from stone floor tiles. Each multi-faceted tile has been individually cut to create an amazing tessellated pattern that fits seamlessly together. The dark stone was acid washed and brushed to give an aged effect; almost like the leathery feel or a crocodile skin finish.
The inside vegetation is not just for aesthetics. The planters behind the bar contain fresh herbs, like chillies and mint, to be used in cocktails.
High in one corner two metal figures stand, sculpted by Jonathon Leahy who also masterminded the water feature statue – a humorous and decidedly irreverent version of your traditional garden fountain centrepiece.
Water cascades down the front glass like a waterfall, collecting in a pool, where a flame erupts from the liquid surface. Using 10 per cent recycled rain water the waterfall is the ultimate tool in creating lush garden ambience.
The Glass Ball Bar
The centrepiece is another awe-inspiring bar, comprised of 19,000 transparent glass balls. Shaped like two double helixes, the bar uses 700 laser cut spines and balls of seven different sizes to shape the twisting form.
With each ball catching the light, the bar is a cross between a light show and a sculpture. Each ball reflects everything around it, creating a totally luminous effect.
The China Bar
Quite the showstopper and arguably the best in the Queensland capital, the China White marble bar makes for a spectacular centrepiece. Carved from 14 tons of creamy marble imported from China, the bar is “classic with a twist”, according to designer Nic Brunner. Composed of sensuous layers of stone, each individual ring is cleverly backlit to make the whole bar glow, while overhead intricate metal lights, also designed by Brunner, give a futuristic feel.
The curving shape, created from 26 pieces of marble imported from China, was carefully thought out for visual impact from the floors above – like many other features in Cloudland.
The choice of marble was motivated by a desire for the interior to become a timeless space that would age naturally. Almost all surfaces are covered with natural materials like marble, leather, recycled timbers and metals.
Reflecting the designers’ reverence for nature, the metal lamps that sprout along the length of the bar take their twisting form and knobby shapes from the Australian native flower, the Banksia.
Custom-designed seating like the onion-shaped booths and white wire nests with sorbet-coloured cushions are a whimsical elaboration on traditional wrought-iron garden furniture.
Our designers let their creativity run wild in the intimate booths that are scattered throughout the restaurant area. Overhung with oversize Chinese lamps, one area is part Oriental boudoir (ornate patterned wallpapers and silks), part Japanese nosh house – Tatami floors, cushions and sunken tables – one with a Lazy Susan for communal eating.
One booth is adorned with images of tattooed Japanese beauties drawn from 1940s advertising. The tattoos were added to the wallpaper girls as a playful statement.
No expense or design energy was spared in the toilets. Cloudland bathrooms are meant to create a sense of occasion. Females are treated to backlit arches, solid glass vanities, elaborate tiling, mirrors and make-up areas in each cubicle, while the lads have a huge glittering chamber with a hanging garden. The mezzanine bathrooms all have individual chandeliers adding to the subtle sense of luxury that epitomizes Cloudland.
Up the grand staircase is another bar and lounging level. More intimate and club-like than downstairs, beaten brass wall panels, exotic metallic tiles, and rich fabrics lend a sultry Persian vibe.
The look is 100 per cent luxe with metallic leather booths, Dresden velvet curtains and lush wallpapers. Complete maximalism like this will never go out of fashion – because it has never been in fashion!
For the designers it was important to get the detailing right, knowing what people actually notice when they’re in a space can be surprising. The job was to create an experience and exquisite memories.
The booths have their own jewel themes – topaz, sapphire, olivine, and amethyst. For a bit of ironic bling, a huge princess cut ‘diamond’ has been set into each table.
The timber feature walls are another tessellation – a big rhombus and a small rhombus creating a pattern made from completely recycled wood, liberated from the front veranda of Empire Hotel after it was hit by a truck.