Glamour HALO

Cape Town’s latest nightlife sensation, HALO Nightclub, is the most captivating and talked-about nightlife venue in South Africa. Conduit Interior, a visionary design firm known for its innovative and immersive concepts, has transformed HALO into a technologically advanced haven of glamour and immersion.  

A world beyond 

Trevor Mclean-Anderson, the owner of HALO, described it as “Lady Gaga in a Lamborghini”. Completed at the end of 2023, the project has quickly become renowned for its provocative, glamorous and immersive experiences, offering clubgoers a chance to “step into a world beyond”. 

Design concept 

Glamour HALO

Grant Johnson leads a highly skilled, and agile team of designers at Conduit Interior, who have delivered the glamourous HALO Nightclub.

Grant Johnson, founder and director of Conduit Interior, shared insights into the project: “We were tasked with turning HALO from a previously derelict nightclub into a two-storey masterpiece.”  

HALO features the Groove Lounge on the upper level – a premium cocktail and social lounge – and the Main Room on the lower level, a world-class clubbing venue. Both spaces deliver quintessential immersive light and sound experiences, with an interior that appeals to a discerning clientele who seek to amplify their senses in a “world beyond”. 

Site layout 

In addressing previous layout issues, Conduit Interior strategically reworked the club’s layout to improve flow and accessibility. Johnson explains: “The main bar, a technological marvel in itself, is now centrally positioned, featuring moving displays behind shelves showcasing organic flowing artwork and premium liquor bottles. Mirrors on the ceiling double the volume, creating a mesmerising visual effect, transforming the backbar into a full ‘halo’.” 

Glamour HALO

There’s nothing cliched about the HALO bar, which features glass insulation disks from electricity pylons, a world first for a nightclub.

The HALO experience 

Upon entering the club, guests are immediately immersed in a double-storey wraparound screen accentuated by one-way mirrored walls. The main route deeper into the Groove Lounge is flanked by VIP lounge areas, including the organic Jungle VIP Area and the electronic Mesh VIP Area, each offering a unique and captivating experience. Picture holograms and flying space whales, and ever-evolving screens that slowly come alive over the course of the evening. 

A second entrance leads guests to the Basement Main Room, introducing them through a tunnel of light with a handmade sculptural spaceman overhead.  

Sound solutions  

The world-class nightclub atmosphere is further enhanced by a Funktion-One sound system imported from the United Kingdom (UK). Anton Sinovich, a Funktion-One distributor and sound fanatic from Phuture Sound, took exceptional care of everything sound-related in HALO. 

Glamour HALO

“In designing the sound system for HALO, we used the latest technology of the best sound system available – a 100% Funktion-One Sound System. The Funktion-One’s new F124s extremely low-bass speakers used on the downstairs dance floor stand out in that they contain the most powerful moving coil electromagnet device ever to be installed in a loudspeaker. We are thrilled to deploy it for the first time on the African continent at HALO.” 

Superior acoustics 

What also sets the sound at HALO apart from other nightclubs is the ability to have a conversation while the music is loud. Sinovich explains: “This is a combination of having a great sound system that delivers a full frequency spectrum of sound with low distortion within an acoustically treated room that has been custom designed to house that sound system. It often goes unnoticed. If you leave a venue at 3am after listening to loud music with a wide range of sharp frequencies and your ears aren’t ringing, or your head isn’t hurting, you have likely experienced this synergy.” 

Gregg Fox of Supersonic Acoustic Solutions and his skilled team played an integral part in the acoustic treatment at HALO. He explains that certain areas needed sound dampening, while others needed more life and reflection to achieve the desired sound experience. Very careful attention was taken acoustically to treat all areas of this space according to what the required use of that space was. 

“For example, the dance floor was treated for extreme comfort at a high volume. However, in the bar and VIP seating areas, staff need to understand customers to ensure orders are accurate and service is of a very high standard. People like to be heard properly, so intelligibility was a priority,” says Fox. 

Glamour HALO

Sight and sound 

Paul Bowling of Eyecom, LED experts who partnered with Conduit to create the visual experience, needed to take the sound system into consideration too. “When cladding the dancefloor ceiling with TVs, our challenge was to ensure the highest resolution possible, whilst not forgetting we had to maintain a 50/50 coverage for audio and avoid creating reflective surfaces that would distort the Funktion-One sound.” 

Taking the technology up another notch, every video element in the whole club is controlled by Resolume. Content is mapped to the different displays via two control PCs, allowing total freedom to accommodate international DJs and VJs. Bowling continues: “In theory the whole club can become one huge display, or every single display can operate independently, giving the operator ultimate control and ensuring a future-proof system.” 

Pylon hardware 

Johnson adds: “To avoid clichés in the bar counter design, we searched far and wide to source glass insulation disks from electricity pylons. We fitted each of these with individually programmed LEDs and clad them onto the bar counter.” 

These LEDs interface with media units on the ceilings, providing a complete immersive sight and sound experience. The use of pylon hardware in this way is a first for a nightclub in the world. 

Glamour HALO

VIP lounge areas include the organic Jungle VIP Area, and the electronic Mesh VIP Area.

Facilities 

Conduit Interior demolished and rebuilt the bathrooms, significantly improving facilities and implementing an advanced air-conditioning system to guarantee a comfortable experience for patrons. 

Johnson emphasised the importance of addressing practical concerns, stating: “While the look, feel, sight and sound of HALO will be a talking point for years to come, we wanted to ensure that people won’t be talking about issues such as overheating or bathroom shortages.”  

Seamless delivery 

It takes a great deal of planning and coordination between sound, lighting and architectural interiors that surprisingly rarely occurs to achieve the desired outcome of a venue like HALO. 

Sinovich says: “There is typically a tug-of-war that happens in setting up a new venue between what sounds good and what looks good. HALO is proof that these two objectives do not have to be mutually exclusive. However, we have yet to see this happen haphazardly or accidentally. We were thrilled to have Grant Johnson from Conduit Interior at the helm. HALO is a truly world-class achievement, showcasing the best of breed in sound and the best of breed in lighting tied together seamlessly into a room that looks, sounds and feels incredible.” 

Glamour HALO 

Future forward 

HALO has quickly become a landmark in Cape Town’s nightlife scene, and Conduit Interior’s design work is sure to leave a lasting impression. Mclean-Anderson says: “Our aim was to create a venue where guests can truly ‘step into a world beyond’ and we believe HALO accomplishes just that.” 

The Conduit team along with their partners, and their combined meticulous attention to detail and innovative design concepts, have elevated HALO to become the city’s premier nightlife destination. 

Conduit Interior has taken a derelict space and transformed it into a high-tech haven for a discerning clientele at the HALO Nightclub in Cape Town.  

For more information, contact Conduit Interior: 

Tel: +27 82 700 0649 

Email: grant@conduitinterior.co.za  

Website: www.conduitinterior.co.za 

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