Dezeen Magazine

Mutuus Studio designs inclusive Supernova nightclub in Seattle

A giant disco ball holds the DJ booth at this nightclub in Seattle, designed by local firm Mutuus Studio to be a "safe and welcoming environment for women, BIPOC, and all members of the LGBTQIA+ community".

Supernova was established by DJ Zac Levine with Mutuus Studio, GMD Custom and several artists as an inclusive art and entertainment space.

Disco ball DJ booth at Supernova nightclub
The Supernova nightclub is centred around a DJ booth inside a hemispherical disco ball

The nightclub occupies a 6,500-square-foot (604-square-metre) timber warehouse building built in 1937 in Seattle's SoDo neighbourhood, which was transformed by the team into a two-floor venue.

"Supernova's guiding principle was to create a safe and welcoming environment for women, BIPOC, and all members of the LGBTQIA+ community as employees, patrons, and entertainers," said Mutuus Studio. "Catering to diverse audiences, and self-expression, Supernova welcomes everyone to enjoy a night of dancing, music, and art."

Main dance floor
The club occupies a former warehouse in Seattle's SoDo neighbourhood

Patrons enter past graffitied walls and a neon-lit hall of mirrors onto a mezzanine on the upper level, which overlooks the main dance floor below.

The DJ booth is housed within a huge disco ball, covered in small mirrored tiles and measuring eight feet (2.4 metres) in diameter.

VIP area
Rows of disco balls scatter light across the VIP area

The hemispherical booth sits in the centre of a 30-foot-long (9.1-metre) stage, used by entertainers for performances of all kinds.

These are accompanied by lighting arranged in diamond patterns behind the booth and other audiovisual equipment suspended from the roof.

Neon hall of mirrors
The venue is entered via a hall of mirrors illuminated with neons

A variety of installations can be found throughout the club's many smaller spaces.

A VIP area is demarcated by classic red velvet ropes and golden stanchions, beneath a ceiling of more disco balls that scatter light fractals across the dark space below the mezzanine.

In another lounge area, fluorescent panels cut into wavy shapes frame sofas and a pink neon mounted on the back wall.

Some of the panels swoop down from the ceiling to create additional seating, while the first spans the room's full height and is punctured by an amorphous shape that forms the doorway.

Lounge with fluorescent panels
Spaces within the club include a lounge framed with wavy fluorescent panels

Drinks are served from a metallic bar, as well as through the front of a vintage Volkswagen van – its windscreen missing but headlights still functioning.

Supernova currently hosts weekly events, including house music and disco-themed parties on Fridays and Saturdays.

VW van bar
A vintage Volkswagen van forms a bar

The project was completed in July 2020 during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, when many nightlife venues were hit hard by lockdowns and restrictions.

In response, creative studio Production Club designed a personal protective suit for clubbing in the time of social distancing, which includes features for phone integration and beverage and vape consumption

Unicorn sculpture above stage
The space is filled with a variety of sculptures and installations

Based in Seattle, Mutuus Studio has completed a wide range of projects in the Pacific Northwest – from designing a cosy farm-to-table restaurant, to turning a large, steel sphere into an installation in a waterfront park.

The photography is by James Gerde, unless stated otherwise.

Project credits:

Mutuus Studio design team: Kristen Becker, Saul Becker, Jim Friesz, Jorge Gomez

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