When its doors first opened in 1991 inside three derelict warehouses, Zouk was the first club in Singapore to introduce dance music to its nation with a central aim of propelling the Asian dance scene forward, and boy did they put Singapore firmly on the map.
Over the last 25 years, they’ve operated not only as a super club but also as a host to an annual dance music festival called ZoukOut to showcase their cutting edge musical vision by inviting highly acclaimed artists such as Paul Van Dyk, Richie Hawtin and Sven Väth onto their world stage. It’s no surprise then that the institute has gone on to win several awards from the Singapore Tourism Board.
Yet despite being bestowed the highest honour of ‘Nightspot of the Year’ by the Board an astonishing nine times and a high profile campaign to #SaveZouk supported by over 40,000 people, the government still deemed it necessary to move the operators out of their beloved home. It’s sad to see yet another iconic institute being forced to relocate due to authorities caving into external pressures from property developers.
A new location taking over 30,000 sq ft has been secured in the Clarke Quay area with a healthy cash injection of $10 million pumped in to further innovate and develop the space.
With its many design features, the allure of Zouk is generated by five distinctly different zones all within the space. Zones like the intimate, jet black, velvet room where the likes of John Digweed & Riccardo Villalobos have played, showcasing time and time again the best of the underground.
This sits nicely alongside the main, more commercially focused, Zouk room which is heavily inspired by the chic architectural designs of Gaudi and complemented by futuristic video mapping technologies. It will be interesting to see how Zouk recreates its vision in a new space.
Even with all the re-structural changes, Zouk has managed to climb the top 10 this year and is getting even closer to the top 3. Just like DJ Mag, they celebrate their 25th anniversary this year and will celebrate their final year at Jiak Kim Street in style before moving into the new site by the winter season.