Vanity Nightclub

This bar was featured in Bartender’s December issue

26 Orchid Avenue
Surfers Paradise
07 5582 6188

The venue is owned by Jamie Pickering and Craig Missen who also own The Bedroom Nightclub in Surfers Paradise. With their extensive experience in hospitality, the owners decided to keep the design of the venue in-house and charged Maya Eschembrenner and Bastian Foersterling with the task of bringing their concept to life. Eschembrenner took charge of the design and decoration while Foersterling acted as technical/project manager.

The brief given to Eschembrenner was to build a luxurious nightclub that is on par with Las Vegas and Los Angeles nightclubs. The nightclub must therefore have the latest looks, the best technology and a ladies bathroom that girls will tell all their friends about. The nightclub must also utilise every bit of the space whilst still maintaining functionality.


Vanity Nightclub is located in the basement level of The Forum Building at 26 Orchid Ave. These premises have seen their share of clubs in the past including the hugely successful The Bedroom Nightclub. The previous clubs had all been built on top of each other which meant a lot of layers had to first be removed. The site also has a floating floor with many slab levels as well as a ceiling that concealed most the buildings utility pipes and conduits.

The nightclub needed to allow the maximum legal number of patrons all the functionality they desired. Private booth areas needed to be large and comfortable whilst not overusing space. Nothing was allowed to be wasted and hence the club has fully custom built and design elements: nothing in the nightclub is a stock item.

As the building had endured many major changes since originally built there were no current architectural drawings. This meant that every change had inherent problems and was rethought on a continual basis.


Eschembrenner’s main challenge was to ensure that the club was a visual feast, completely opulent and oozing wealth, while being based on design elements seen in the latest nightclubs in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

As a result, plush fabric panels line the walls where custom wallpaper hasn’t been used. A range of soft, mosaic, hard, patterned, flat and diamond studded materials have been used. The experience of different feeling materials blends seamlessly to enhance the overall experience one has when visiting Vanity Nightclub, and offers the guests a tactile sensation as well as a visual treat.

Eschembrenner’s visionary concept of colour combinations uses fabrics and wallpapers along with a raft of other materials and is always cutting edge. Most of the elements were imported into Australia for this project from the USA, France, Taiwan, China and Italy and after countless hours of research of she pieced it all together.

Gold, brass, copper, turquoise and many other classical luxurious colours were used as well as large mosaic pillars with ancient runes. The resulting colour scheme can only be described as ‘Egyptian Grandeur.’

The concept of so many unique visual elements combined so seamlessly ties the project together.

“Just like a fine museum it offers so much in what is actually a rather small space,” remarked Eschembrenner. “Every area of the club showcases different elements but somehow they all look and feel like they were meant to be.” One of Eschembrenner’s favourite design detail is the 100 custom electronic LED wax candles on hand wood-turned gold candlesticks that can be found at the back of the two bars.

The ladies toilets/vanity is a treat of pure luxury. The girls have sitting sections where they can attend to their make-up and hair and a special make-up and hair stylist station has been incorporated. There is a large display of perfumes, lotions and accessories available as well. Ambient speakers, grand chandeliers, spectacular and modern gold feature tiles, and the latest engraved gold and white fabrics have been used to make this the most exuberant space – there is an internet kiosk as well.

The nightclub is designed to have a lot of subtle ambient lighting that aims to tie the design features together and a wide range of modern and classic lighting elements have been incorporated to do so. Ultramodern golden globe cluster chandeliers and blended with classic crystal wall lights. Computer controlled Ledion LED matrix tiles line the floor of an L-shaped dance podium while custom ‘VANITY” LED lit chrome letters light the wall. There are two dance floors with a large selection of 25 state-of-the-art moving head and mirror effect lights, such as Robe and iLed, combined with classic Clay-Paky astro-raggi lights.

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