43. The Design of World Headquarters
One for the ladies
Whilst all the old Club shenanigans were going on, we were also taking a long time to plan out how we wanted the new WHQ to look. We put design ideas from all the great clubs into it.
There are little bits of the layout of the old Club, bits of Rockshots, the Arena, everywhere we have ever played really, has influenced & contributed to the evolution & layout of World Headquarters as it is today.
In designing it, we had to prioritise our wish list as we had such limited funds. Top priority after all the building conversion work etc., was a booming sound system.
Then we wanted to have really nice ladies facilities, as we had such unbelievably tiny & rubbish girls toilets at the old Club.
Look here… Isn’t that yaccka…?
We decided to invest a large chunk of our dwindling resources to put in twice the legal requirement for ladies toilets.
This was done so that there would never be any queues & we made them nice & large with a kinda ‘Dubai airport’ type vibe.
The result is a space where girls can hang out & organise all their girlie matters in comfort & privacy with couches, bidet facilities & all that kinda caper.
We’ve always been a girl friendly little Club & seeing as how the vast majority of our members are female, we thought this would go down well & be a good plan.
Seems we got it right & all the girls loved it.
The Upstairs room
The main Club space truly is a hybrid of all the best features of everywhere we have ever played.
The pillars give it the industrial feel of the Arena in Boro, the large Dj booth as a central feature is a nod to the old Rockshots layout.
The end result is a Dj who everyone can see & that can see everyone.
We deliberately didn’t raise the Dj booth too high & kept the low ceiling height so that the Club feels nice & intimate. It’s just like the old Club, with the Dj placed firmly in the centre of the party.
As you walk into WHQ the Dj booth, with the records lit up behind it, is intentionally the first thing you’ll notice.
Like the old Club, we wanted lots of places for people to sit, so we put loads of couches & stools around the dance floor area.
As we are music led, we have never been fans of flashing lights. The only lights are on the Dj booth & bar, with dimmer, coloured light around the edge of the dance floor.
This gives the room a low level of light except for the focal points.
We do host events when people do bring their own lights in, but for our Uplifting Groove Shows at the weekend we don’t need that. It’s all about the music & the people who come.
We also wanted to kill the notion of dancing as a spectator sport, that you see in so many clubs today.
At WHQ with it’s subdued light & intimacy, the raw music is the only sensory effect we are giving you.
You come here to enjoy the music & your friends & you can easily do that in such an intimate & clear layout. It’s the ultimate fun, house-party kinda blueprint.
When we first moved some people who didn’t quite get it, initially criticised our layout as being ‘one big dance floor’.
It’s not, there are loads of places to sit, but we are glad to have created that effect.
This means after a hard weeks slog, you can get down with your bad self without a load of leering, non dancing idiots ogling you up.
Ours is an upbeat groove & everybody dances in World Headquarters. We don’t really do spectators.
The Downstairs room
Originally downstairs had big windows & a more bar cafe type feel. With even more couches it is laid out differently to upstairs, with the Dj facing across, rather than down the room.
This makes it ideal for smaller parties & events & it has now evolved into a really beautiful, clubby little space all of it’s own over time.
It’s like a Club within the Club & it’s recent sound upgrade has raised the game – altering the course of Underground events in the city for ever, for the better.