Fell down the rabbit hole with Sechser, the new Heterotopic Nightclub in Vienna

From the scratches of the undergrounds of Palais Palffy, Söhne & Partner architects have created a surreal nightclub inspired by Late Renaissance.

The design concept of the new bar and nightclub is Mannerist. Mannerism, also known as Late Renaissance, has always stood for a time of change in the historical context and is characterized by adornment, uncommonness, opulence, artificiality, and abstruseness.

To keep up with the current trend of Mannerism, the location was developed with clashing styles as well as opulence, by using fine fabrics and wallpapers from House of Hackney London.

Sechser nightclub - bathrooms
To create a surreal space the architects played with different styles of fabrics and wallpapers

The most challenging aspect was to transform the basement rooms into an extravagant world. In order for the guests to have a dream-like experience, we replaced the characteristic barrel vault with a dynamic and undulating ceiling construction, transforming the rooms into an unusual, crazy and surreal world – making the ceiling alive. 

The non-predictable aspect is manifested by the ceiling that enhances the complexity of the whole clubbing environment. The heterotopia is accentuated by the curved shapes, that evoke confusion and drama. With violent colors, patterns, shapes, and reflections, Sechser creates a decadent and provocative world never seen before. This world is born from the interplay of form, function, and materiality.     

Sechser nightclub - table decor

Heterotopia (from gr. hetero= different and topos= place) is a term defined by Michel Foucault in the early years (1967) of his philosophy, to describe places and their intrinsic systematic meaning made of more layers to other than immediately meet the eye. Foucault assumes that there are spaces that are reflecting the social relations in a special way, by representing, negating and inverting them.

Thanks to its dimension and “function” as a bar and club, Sechser is ultimately more than just space. Instead, it harbors a colorful facet of spatial phenomena. Sechser invites the guest to perceive the space in many different ways: physical space as an object, aesthetic and personal space as a piece of art, physiological space as a body experience, psychological space as an experience space, and metaphysical space as heterotopia.

The pandemic has shut down the clubs, but that can be also an opportunity to observe their interior without the crowd as Fabio Colturri and EYS SYE have done with domestic clubs.

Sechser nightclub - interior