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Hong Kong’s well-heeled trendy set has a dramatic new playpen in the form of the enigmatically named Tazmania Ballroom designed by acclaimed designer Tom Dixon.

Self-consciously bling, Dixon has focused on the interplay between numerous glossy and reflective surfaces in the spacious interior to create a stylized and stylish hybrid interior that takes the traditional British gentlemen’s club as its starting point. This is readily seen in details such as the traditional curves of the seating or, more subtly, in details such as a key lighting wall feature that, on closer inspection, consists of a traditional book-lined library wall.

However, this bombastic take on a traditional St James’ club is very much in the James Bond set design tradition and equally owes as much to the tradition of the Bond supervillain’s lair and rap culture’s advocacy of conspicuous excessive luxury. The dj stand is effectively a gold altar that could easily double as the mastermind console in Dr No’s secret headquarters; the gold-plated pool tables straight out of some rap superstar’s Miami home.

One of the key features of the design is the constant interplay between different types of reflective surfaces in the interior in which black is an appropriate base keynote colour. Bulbous copper occasional tables mirror the great cluster of copper shades that hang down from the ceiling, the dazzling dj stand reflects back slightly distorted images of the clientele and the curvaceous pool tables gleam like beacons beneath the rather traditional overhead shades, reflecting the legs of animated players, in turn reflected in the equally mirror-like bar. This overall glossy and sleek feeling is given a dramatic contrast by jagged angular elements that contradict it; the crazy paving slate floor or the dramatic feature wall with its strong expressionistic black forms.

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It’s the perfect interior for the venue that conceptually draws on the tradition of the British gentlemen’s club since its connotations are clearly marked out, yet it never descends into a direct facsimile or aspirational pastiche. Within it, the clientèle can take part in traditional games associated with such clubs at the pool table (or should that be billiards?) as well as those more commonly associated with youth clubs. Ping pong anyone? A bar menu drawing on traditional English fare is served by staff clad in Fred Perry and Doc Martens and both resident and visiting Dj’s take control of the state of the art sound system from the mastermind console at nights that profile a laid back R&B soundtrack to complement the loungy cinematic feel of the place.

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