AER Lounge A Breath of Celestial Air

AER Lounge A Breath of Celestial Air

April 28, 2005

AER is one of New York City’s hottest nightspot, an ultra stylish club that provides a stimulating treat to all the senses. Setting a new standard in New York’s hip nightlife landscape, AER is a tasteful mix of Europe’s ultra chic party scene with the very best of America’s celebrity laden club environment. Since opening last November, AER has quickly become one of the most sought after sites in New York for premier events, corporate gatherings, private parties and of course the upscale clubber.

Housed in the city’s most vibrant nightlife district, the Meatpacking District, AER is a 10,000-square-foot venue that features the best amenities a lounge can offer including atmospheric Martin lighting effects.

Owner and visionary Andy Unanue was inspired to build AER based on his belief that “New York is a spontaneous town and AER was designed to capitalize on the diversity of moods and demands of its sophisticated audience — socialites, celebrities, models artists — and all people who appreciate life and live it large”.

The two-level club caters to the public while also providing luxurious state-of-the-art facilities to exclusive paying members. The club is thus vertically divided using the Greek myth of AER (what mortals breathe) and AETHER (what the Gods breathe). The upper level (AER) caters to the public, while the lower level (AETHER) has a separate private entrance and elevator that brings members down into an even sleeker and more intimate environment. Both upper and lower realms are designed with theatricality and illusion in mind. Spaces are configured to encourage uninhibited mixing and flirting among the guests.

I©RAVE Design Studio
There is a light, ethereal and refreshing feel to the club with fluid, ever-changing and sublime lighting elements. From the moment one enters the club the space unfolds in a series of dramatic scenes. This transcendent somewhat seductive interior design was created by I©RAVE Design Studio of New York, designer of many of Manhattan's top nightclubs and restaurants. Architect and designer Lionel Ohayon of I©RAVE has a reputation for delivering creative, energy-driven and engaging spaces and AER is no exception.

I©RAVE created AER to capture the excitement that takes place in New York after the sun goes down. Playing light against dark throughout the venue, sections are seductively veiled with beads and one-of-a-kind lighting that highlights certain aspects of the décor. Notable design elements include ethereal dewdrop and butterfly images behind the main level bar, a steel band frame in the center of the lounge and an undulating wall in the back room that projects different colored light.

One enters the upper lounge facing an exceptional design element, an elongated main floor butterfly bar with glowing dewdrops in which are encased striking images of butterflies. Three different sizes of dewdrops hang above the bar – small, medium and large – each size illuminated by a Martin FiberSource CMY 150 fiber optic illuminator. Two points of fiber run to each dewdrop, which can glisten in an almost endless variety of colors. A fourth Martin FiberSource illuminator is used to illuminate approximately 200-220 points of fiber around a chrome tunnel that leads into the main lounge.

Opposite, rain-like screens illuminated by MR16s conceal a luxurious bathroom lounge where one is encouraged to linger and flirt. Both the bathroom and bar interact with a mirrored, pin-lit box from which the rest of the club's space unfolds. It is a hypnotic reflective surface that acts as an occupy-able space, framing the VIP space at the back from which one can see the outdoor patio glowing beyond.

For those in a dancing mood the main level dance floor features three Martin MAC 250 Krypton moving heads for sweeps of multi-colored beams with a pair of Martin Atomic Colors adding the visual pulse. A sculpted wave wall of glass-reinforced gypsum creates a 3-dimensional, sultry feel. Fronted by a ledge used for dancing or just hanging out, silhouetted looks add to the visual uniqueness of the space. A large pull-down screen offers another option for further visual stimulation.

The front lounge is set up for casual drinking and dining while DJ booths within these facing environments provide the option of running several parties at once. Guests can enjoy dining in AER’s 36-seat dining section or in the main area where low tables and wide banquets offer room to sprawl — and to dance.

Through a separate entry, members arrive by elevator to the reception space of the lower level, AETHER. Guests are escorted into the lounge and seated in one of five luxurious living room environments floating at the edge of glass-floored pits from which light pulses seductively in time with the DJ. Here, InFocus LP540 video projectors shine onto the glass floor, and, working in combination with surrounding mirrors, give the space a 3D, hologram feel.

The room's edges seem to peel away in layers of mirrored glass, revealing a mysterious forested landscape beyond. The high-gloss ceiling overhead amplifies the verticality of the space, and with the mirrored walls creates the illusion of infinite space. A state-of-the-art sound system underscores the endless hologram lighting effects. As a completely absorptive and warm space, the wooden alcove platform of the bar and DJ table becomes both a place of reprieve from as well as a place to view, the reflective phantasmagoria of the living room spaces.

Lighting design for the lounge was completed by Paul Gregory of Focus Lighting of New York with the video pit lighting concept designed by Paul and I©RAVE. Focus Lighting supplied the architectural lighting equipment while XS Lighting & Sound supplied the dance floor lighting. Programming and operation is by lighting technician Adam Burrows of Oxygen Lightworks.