A new 10,000-square-foot venue in Chelsea is reviving cast-off building materials in an effort to do the same for Manhattan's dwindling music scene. The brainchild of nightlife mavens Mike Satsky and Brian Gefter, Flash Factory aims to breathe new life into the old Shadow night club space with its multi-chamber "interactive forest" built from salvaged elements. Inhabitat recently got a sneak peek inside the Hecho Inc.-designed wonderland of sound ahead of its opening tonight. Come along with us as we explore the space's imaginative use of recycled materials.
Located at 229 West 28th Street, Flash Factory, is now one of the city’s largest night clubs with 10,000 square feet of room to revel. But what makes the venue unique is its deviation from the glossy finishes and flashy LED screens favored by many other New York dance halls. Instead, the cavernous space has been fitted with reclaimed materials that lived past lives in various places of congregation like schools, churches and masonic lodges. The overall effect is like stepping inside of an ancient hall adorned with modern artifacts; sort of a more refined take on the “ruin pubs” of Budapest.
“We want people to feel like they’re at a music festival every day,” Satsky told us.
The floorplan is split up into several distinctive zones: The FF Theater, the FF Lounge, a stage, a DJ booth, elevated cabanas and a secondary bar area.
“If you want to go in the ocean, you can do that. If you want to go to the beach, you can do that. And if you’d rather have a cabana, we have that too,” Satsky explained of the various environmental choices that will be offered to clubgoers.
The FF Theater is the club’s largest expanse and is characterized by intricate overhead arches laser-cut from ultra-light MDF. “The arches are one of the only new elements in the space,” said Ian Mueller of Hecho Inc. When backlit with LED strip lights, the architectural elements will appear to float above the crowd. Reclaimed stained glass panels displayed within steel window frames procured from a factory in Upstate New York add to the hallowed feeling of the space.
Those wanting to take a break from dancing can head over to the FF Lounge and take a seat on the reclaimed temple benches or refill their drinks at the bar embedded with crosses sourced from a church in the Bronx. The space also features a unique sculptural element crafted from trees cut from an Hecho founder’s own property.
The tables in the space are made of old sand-casting forms topped with acrylic sheets.
And the venue’s aesthetics aren’t the only thing that sets it apart from other New York clubs. Though Satsky has made a name for himself over the years as a purveyor of exclusivity, he says he’s changing his tune for his newest venture. So if you’ve been snubbed by the velvet rope before, Flash Factory promises to be a refreshing change.
“The only selectivity will be the music,” he told us.