CLUB TROCADERO

LOCATION

MALMÖ, SWEDEN

YEAR

1979

PROGRAM

NIGHTCLUB

STATUS

COMPLETED

SIZE

1,000 m2

PHOTO

LARS HECTOR

Christmas 1978 I was commissioned by Lars Hector to redecorate an old space, a substandard pizzeria, in Tunneln Hotel - it was to be converted into an exclusive private nightclub - Club Trocadero. The concept was simple and genius: Hector’s vision was a mix of decadent and refined, gay and straight club. A place without segregation, where everybody is welcome. The budget, however, was very small and I did not have much time to finish the project.

I had until New Year’s to design this. It proved impossible to find contractors during the holidays - the only ones available were a metal worker and a mirror maker, so that limited my choice of materials. The whole concept of the space was to be based on two materials: aluminum and mirror glass.

The bogie truck that also served as the nightclub’s entrance was a long passageway, with strange train windows. There I hung various portraits of the most famous revolutionaries, politicians and superstars - among others Humphrey Bogart, Mao Tse Tung, Fidel Castro, Zarah Leander and Greta Garbo. The floor was terrible but, with our budget, laying a new floor was out of the question. Instead, we covered the entire floor with a gorgeous zebra-patterned wall-to-wall carpet. Zebra pattern became the main design idea and completed the concept: metal/grey, mirrors and black and white stripy zebra. The carpet was perfect - depraved and conspicuous.

Visitors were shocked when they entered Club Trocadero the first time. From the day it opened in February 1979 until it closed its doors in 1985, the place was packed. I was there almost every night, happily. I sat there because I wanted to witness all the fascinating, exciting, enticing, intriguing encounters and events that took place. The space together with the people created that magical atmosphere, kind of like a great stage play! It compared to super-trendy Studio 54 in New York, Regine in Paris and Alexandra's in Stockholm.

Troccan, as the regulars called it, quickly became a node, a meeting point and, weirdly, it had been created in little Malmö, which at the time was a dark, rather dull town. For me, this was a unique experience, completely without comparison. I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to be the hand behind that fantastic phenomenon.

Abelardo Gonzalez

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