How the Hacienda night club utilised everyday materials to maximum effect.


In 1982 record company Factory Records commissioned interior designer Ben Kelly to imagine up the interiors of their new nightclub. The venue was a former yachting showroom, a single volume space with buckets of potential but effectively just an empty space. Ben Kelly Design (BKD) was given free reign of the design process, commissioned to transform it into a ‘people’s palace’ (according to the BKD) website.


The brief was simple: Turn this former showroom into a venue with a “big bar, small bar, food, stage, dance-floor, balcony, and a cocktail bar in the basement.”


And that they did. The music venue was painted in blue and grey hues, the balcony supports painted in garish bright colours akin with the acid rave music that would soon to be blaring out from the speakers, and columns were painted with diagonal stripes.



The theme geared towards ‘urban’ with visual signposts to adhere to this. Warning tapes of yellow and black featured heavily, neon bar signs were scattered across the club. While bollards and cat eyes usually found on roads were used to mark out the dance floor. It looked like a conceptual warehouse, a modern art installation of bright colours encouraging its ravers towards the music and dance.


And from the outside? The only clue to what was inside the warehouse-looking building was a granite sign that read; ‘ FAC51 THE HACIENDA’ the FAC51 code referring to its Factory Record’s catalogue number.


It was the utilitarian, urban and make-do look that would go on to play home to one of the most famous nightclubs ever to be born, and consequently these interior ticks would be the inspiration behind some of McQ’s latest prints.



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