Napoli’s Hot Spot: Bunker

In Napoli, Italy an ultra-hot-spot exists by the name of Bunker. Bunker, as the name implies, is a below-ground space and part of the underground nightclub-scene. Bunker, designed by the architects and designers of Gnosis Architettura in 1994, it is the fifth club to exist in its space. The architects were challenged to design a successful nightclub in the rambling and large area provided. With a three hundred thousand dollar budget, Gnosis Architettura succeeded in their design attempt. Bunker takes up over 13, 420 square feet, with seating for three hundred fifty people. Bunker incorporates a combination of bars, lounge areas, and enormous spaces for dancing. The architects designed an aquatic cave theme throughout the club, taking advantage of the natural sub-level existence of the space. People descend a series of steps to enter Bunker, and from the point of entrance on are made to feel as though they are floating through a maze of water-filled underground passageways.

The lighting used in Bunker plays a large role in the atmosphere of the club. Ethereal blue light is used to create an other-worldly aquatic sensation. The blue lights used on the staircase make it look as though it is a liquid staircase, making those who step up on feel like they are floating on a fluorescent wave! These lights are also used on the main dance floor to evoke a sense of the movement of a body of water. The lighting system above the dance floor is used to create mystery and changing scenery in time with the music. Blue lights on the floor reinforce Bunker’s aquatic theme.

The sound system used inside Bunker is technologically advanced, state of the art, and thought to be part of the reason why Bunker is so successful a nightclub. Bunker has become one of the most popular dance spots in Napoli. The textures, colors, and imagery used throughout Bunker were chosen in reference to the characteristics of the ancient city of Curnae. The fragmented stone work that exists on the floors recreates the character of the rambling corridors of a mystical seaside town.[1] The blinding white stucco structures that have been found on many Mediterranean islands inspired the design of the white stucco bars that are splattered with multicolored textural fragments and rapped in Bunker’s signature aquatic color.[2] The architects and designers of Gnosis Architettura succeeded in their attempt to establish a successful nightclub in the given sub-level, awkward, and massive space. Bunker, currently existing as one of Napoli’s best rated clubs, with its advanced lighting system and technological advances, is a prime example of modern interior design. The use of texture, color, and materials in reference to Curnae demonstrates respect for historical reference and the use of conceptual design. It is inspiring to see how simple ideas of historical reference can go so far in today’s modern society.

[1] Casamassima, Christy. Bar Excellence Designs for Pubs and Clubs. p 94

[2] Casamassima, Christy. p 94


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