Lifestyle operator, ISMAYA Group is a leader in its field of conceptualising and designing entertainment outlets. One of the latest additions to the line-up is Dragonfly in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is the second establishment of the same name from the group, and its older sibling opened in Jakarta back in 2004.  The idea was to retain the DNA of the original, but with the addition of the BlackByrd restaurant and lounge.

Located in the heart of the city, atop the Naza Tower, Dragonfly and BlackByrd wrap around the top floor, offering spectacular views of the Kuala Lumpur skyline. The idea is that guests arrive for dinner at BlackByrd and are served by Michelin star chef, Jason Tan, who is a culinary veteran with over 10 years experience in French dining.  After dinner, guests move through to the BlackByrd lounge, where they can enjoy a cocktail among the hand-crafted wood and rattan interiors. Patrons finish their journey in Dragonfly, where they are treated to a state-of-the-art lighting concept and a high-end sound system that resonates throughout the space.

Having not worked in Malaysia before, ISMAYA Group teamed up with local company, FSA360 for this project. Managing Director, Jeremy Lim takes up the story: “During my travels to Jakarta and Bangkok, to name just a couple of places, I had noticed a certain restaurant concept, which I felt was missing from Kuala Lumpur. I thought there was a gap in the market for it, so with the help of ISMAYA Group, I set about creating this concept with my own unique spin.”

The space Dragonfly and BlackByrd occupy was previously used as offices, so it felt quiet cold in terms of atmosphere and featured double height ceilings. “We didn’t feel that was the right ambience for the restaurant so we worked hard to get the vibe right, and everything else evolved from there,” Jeremy continued. ISMAYA Group employs more than 4,000 people across its outlets, making it a truly successful brand, so Jeremy knew the bar was high for this project and set his aspirations accordingly.

ISMAYA Group already had technology partners from the first Dragonfly in Jakarta, and although they were kept informed of the new project and produced a tender, in the end both ISMAYA Group and Jeremy decided that a local company onboard was the best choice. Having a local supplier that can provide local support when needed was an important factor, and is why Motifv8 was brought in to design and install an audio system throughout.

Co-owner of Motifv8, Sham Iskhandar saw the space in December last year. He had an existing relationship with Jeremy as his business partner, Ben and Sham’s business partner, Henry have worked together on festivals in the past. So, while they look after the live events side of the businesses, Sham and Jeremy take care of the installation projects.

Sham explained his approached: “We used EASE simulation to demonstrate our plans. We needed to provide an intuitive and competitive design, and we also proposed a system that had not been installed anywhere else in the region – the Void Acoustics Nexus 6. It’s the first system in Malaysia and, of course, new clubs always like to have a UPS and something to brag about.”

The Void Acoustics Nexus 6 cabinets are hung either side of the DJ booth, which sits at one end of the elongated room. The radical styling of the Nexus 6 was born from the innovative internal layout of its transducers. The four-way Nexus 6 consists of no less than 20 high power drivers, housed in a sculpted fibreglass enclosure. The Nexus 6’s are supplemented by three Void Acoustics Stasys Xair high output, double 18-inch horn-loaded subwoofers housed under the DJ booth, which extend the low frequency response.

On the dancefloor, the Void Acoustics Venu Series was selected, 14 Venu 12 passive two-way surface mount loudspeakers and four Venu X reflex-loaded dual 12-inch subwoofers, as well as another Stasys Xair subwoofer at the back of the room. The Venu Series offers flexibility as they can be mounted vertically or horizontally and are also easy to install with their Easy Hang wall bracket.

The VIP section, next to the DJ booth, has its own loudspeakers and subwoofer, to ensure the clientelé occupying that area are experiencing the best possible sound. The DJ booth itself has a monitoring system too, comprising two Void Acoustics Venu 12’s and one Venu X.

Amplification for the club space comes from Void Acoustics’ Bias units – four Bias Q2’s, two Bias Q5’s and one Bias V9 – with Armonia software, as well as an external processor from Bose, the ControlSpace ESP-4120.

Audio elsewhere – in the BlackByrd restaurant and lounge – is a mixture of Void Acoustics and Bose. The lounge makes use of four Void Acoustics Venu 10 cabinets and two Venu 215 subwoofers powered by two more Void Acoustics Bias Q2 amplifiers. While the restaurant boasts six Bose FreeSpace DS 16SE and four Bose FreeSpace DS 100F surface mount loudspeakers running off a single Bose PowerShare PS604A amplifier and a Bose ControlSpace ESP-880 processor. Five Bose ControlSpace CC-16 zone control panels are also installed around the venue, so each zone has its own volume control and is able to switch music sources when required.

When it came to the lighting element at Dragonfly, ISMAYA Group and Jeremy were keen to replicate the iconic LED mapped ceiling from the Jakarta venue, so LEDsCONTROL was invited back to recreate the lighting design. Managing Director, Rebeca Sánchez Pastor takes up the story: “We converted the original design, but adapted shapes and quantities. We also updated certain lighting elements to the latest technologies, which allowed us to keep the original essence, but adapt it into this new space.”

The ceiling comprises more than 200 individual controlled panels, and each individual light box is a pixel in the MADRIX software.

The panels span across the full ceiling in the club space. It creates a rather enveloping effect for the audience, especially with its Dragonfly wing graphic effects.

In addition to the panels, a selection of intelligent lighting fixtures and effects have also been installed at Dragonfly. The inventory includes Clay Paky Axcor Spot 300’s, Martin by HARMAN Rush MH6’s, Martin by HARMAN Atomic 3000 LED strobes, Elation LED blinders, as well as hazers from Look Solutions, fan machines courtesy of Antari and CO2 jets from Magic:FX. Additionally, there is a four-metre by three-metre LED screen that serves as a backdrop in the DJ booth, and more than 2km of RGB LED strips. An Avolites Tiger Touch II controls the lighting fixtures and effects, while the LED screen utilises a Resolume software package.