I can hardly imagine anyone who doesn’t understand what a soffit is – at least the most common applications: a soffit is the “box” that sits between the top one’s kitchen cabinets and the ceiling, or the one that closes the area below one’s roof eaves. A soffit is technically the underside of any construction element, such as the area under a flight of stairs.

However you define them, soffits can be used in many ways as critical and effective elements in nightclub and bar design.

How Are Soffits Constructed?

My counterparts in the residential design community typically design soffits with wood 2 x’s and drywall. Anyone (at least in the U.S.) who has tried their hand at kitchen remodeling is familiar with this method – a series of continuous 2 x 4 (or 2 x 2) wood plates, connected periodically by wood studs and covered with drywall. However, in commercial construction, we use metal studs in lieu of wood and the entire assembly is extremely light weight and much easier to install. Quite frankly, soffits constructed of metal studs are far superior to their wood counterparts, especially in terms of maintaining level, straight and square lines.



How Are Curved Soffits Designed and Built?

Often times, when designing a stage that is curved or elliptical in shape, I’ll employ a canopy (soffit) of the same shape. In this context, I can embellish the beauty of the stage by creating aElliptical Stage with Matching Soffit mirror image of it and reflect it in the ceiling, as illustrated in the above photo. How is this accomplished? Enter “Flex-C Trac™” by Flex-Ability Concepts. Flex-C Trac is a light gauge steel framing product developed for metal stud construction, and used to build complex curved metal structures (the company also offers a similar wood product). With their 2 ½” (64mm) track, one can achieve a bending radius as small as 7” (178mm)! You can download the cut sheet below.  Setting-up and installing a curved wall is simple using Flex-C Trac, as shown in the above video. Here's the basics of building a curved soffit: 

In my opinion, Flex-C Trac™ and light gauge metal studs is the only way to build any curved soffit.

pdfFlex-C Trac Cut Sheet

What is the Main Benefit of Soffits in Nightclubs and Bars?

If you want your patrons to spend more money in your club, the soffit will be one of your most cost-effective solutions. After all, you invest a great deal of money in marketing to get people into your nightclub or bar. Your next job is to keep them there as long as you can, and this begins by making them feel cozy. Soffits will provide that cozy, intimate feeling and the first area I always evaluate is the bar. Placing a soffit above your patrons heads will impart a greater sense of intimacy, and the more intimacy you can impart into the customer experience will help ensure that they stay in your club longer. I’m not saying you can ignore your other furnishings, because that would be foolish. Believe me, people enjoy being pampered, and thoughtful soffit design in your nightclub or bar is a solid investment toward achieving that goal.

Other Design Benefits of Soffits in Nightclubs and Bars

One of the most common questions of clients with large clubs is how to give their clubs a more Design Buzz Photo of Soffit above Curtain Wallimaginative appearance. To me, there isn’t anything desirable about a large, open space – they just lack character. Nightclub and bar owners who are searching for a solution to make their clubs more appealing should consider including soffits in their design. Soffits will provide a visual break for large areas. Remember, it isn’t how to make your space appear large, it’s about making it appear more interesting and intimate, as you can see in the above photo, where we used a soffit to define a curtain wall of architectural glass.

Why Soffits are So Imporant to Design: They Define Areas

A side benefit of soffit implementation is its ability to define an area. This is true especially in open areas, such as the canopy I described above. When you have a free-standing soffit, this is the opportunity to add other creative architectural elements, such as a curved crown molding and LED lighting.

Related Posts:

Top 5 LED Lighting Ideas for Nightclub & Bar Design

ShimmerScreen Beaded Chain Curtains in Nightclub & Bar Design

Design Buzz: Hunter Douglas Open-Cell Ceilings in Nightclubs


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