AMK Design: Room With a View

The Cosmos Night Club aboard Celebrety Cruises MillenniumOf all the public spaces Athens- based AMK Design has created aboard more than 70 cruise ships, the Cosmos Night Club on Celebrity Cruises’ Millennium best “sums up what cruising is all about,” according to coordinating architect Marc Blake. Such observation lounges/nightclubs “are exciting spaces to design because on the one hand they should be the perfect place for relaxing and appreciating the beauty of being at sea, and at the same time they epitomize the fun of the cruise experience,” he said.

According to Blake, Celebrity generally uses at least three different architectural firms for its newbuilds, assigning specific spaces to each design house. For the Millennium, AMK was given responsibility for several major rooms as well as all cabins and suites, but the nightclub was obviously the “glamour assignment,” said the designer.

The Cosmos Night Club is the only major public space aboard facing forward - “it’s the equivalent of the ship’s crow’s nest,” said Blake. It was also the first such space onboard a Celebrity vessel which actually served three functions, not two: as an observation lounge, discotheque, and nightclub as well.

AMK opted to keep the large space as one open-plan area, but on three different levels, a solution that together with ornamental and lighting effects subtly shifts the axis of attention depending on whether the club is in use as a daytime lounge, a secondary entertainment club, or a late- night disco. “The room has a celestial theme which of course comes into its own at night, while during the day it is important for passengers to feel as connected as possible with the 270-degree panoramic ocean views,” commented Blake. “For these reasons, we wanted to preserve the unity of the space and keep it a free-flowing area.”
The centerpiece is a large stainless steel dance floor with built-in lighting effects. Above it is the “sky dome,” a specially created conical skylight that adds to the natural light and offers a view of the stars in the evening.

On the port side, the focus is on a 56-foot-long bar, up-lit at night from a surrounding glass floor. From the bar’s central metal stalk, the eye is led to a grand metallic hemisphere overhead, which is another element of the planetary motif. By day, the hemisphere’s stainless steel shell glimmers from reflected light, while at night it provides its own spinning light show through thousands of tiny holes.

Another special feature AMK created for the nightclub is a mobile overhead sculpture suspended near the central skylight, consisting of 148 specially designed stainless steel birds. Varied in size around an average of 40 centimeters each, and sprung from a mirrored ceiling panel, the “birds” move with the rhythm of the ship, giving the impression of a large flock in flight. The mobile works equally well at night, since each bird is constructed with two inset halogen lamps.

The club’s atmosphere actually begins in its foyer, where a stainless steel overhead canopy supported by an illuminated glass pillar gives an extra sparkle to the entrance. Passengers enter the club through a curving molded drum corridor illuminated with more glass pillars and LED lighting. Explained Blake: “Passengers arrive in the heart of the club, where either they are in the thick of the action, or the full force of the view hits them. We didn't want a gradual entrance.”

Blake considers the club to be typical of AMK’s work, as “it drew on our experience in creating multi-functional venues, as well as eye-catching individual set pieces.” He acknowledged that it was not necessarily the most influential or cutting-edge room the team have ever done - “but it was a prestigious assignment and the outcome was very effective.”

“Passengers reportedly like it, and Celebrity has asked us to do the same room on their three ships since then - Infinity, Summit and Constellation.”


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