Co.Design

Meet The Designer Behind David Lynch’s New Nightclub (Yes, Nightclub)

“David has a real passion for furniture.”

Call us crazy, but we’ve always thought it would actually be pretty cool to find yourself in one of David Lynch’s movies. And the scene in Mulholland Drive’s Silencio, when everything changes, remains one of our all-time favorites. (Our all-time least favorite? Bob hiding behind the bed.) So we’re doubly excited that the lovably odd director/painter/musician has opened a club in Paris based on and named after this famous scene. The designer on board, Raphael Navot, was part of a large team that included Arnaud Frisch, best known for his Social Club, ENIA architecture studio, and light designer Thierry Dreyfus.

Located in the heart of historic Paris, Silencio is a 2,100-square-foot members-only nightclub that consists of a series of one-off rooms, plus a live stage with a reflective dance floor and 24-seat cinema. It grew, Navot says, out of a two-year process working with Lynch in Paris and in Los Angeles at the director’s home, with talks over the phone or on Skype. “He has a natural director attitude,” Navot tells Co.Design. “Often, the design was guided in a way that was not always figurative—it could have been a drawing, a rough sketch, an expression, or a feeling.” Once he knew how the space would be arranged, Navot would try to create a series from each drawing: “Black Birds” is a series of asymmetric black-leather seats and tables; “Wire” is a collection of seats and sofas. The bar and lounge also include carpeting with edging designed by Lynch.

The director is a well-known furniture buff, having designed his own line back in 1997, and Navot says the process went pretty smoothly. “I have been playing a double role, a sort of a bridge between Lynch’s vision and what the club needs,” he says. And although not all of the ideas were possible, whether for reasons of space flow, proportions, or simply geometry, Navot was able to borrow from things he found in Lynch’s house and his books. “Working under his creative direction was actually very pleasant,” Navot says. “I am glad to say the club has almost no compromises at all.”

Images by Alexandre Guirkinger.

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