Hi/Lo smoking club by Workshop of Wonders, Utrecht

September 24th, 2012 by retail design blog

The name Hi/Lo visualizes our bipolar concept of Heaven & Hell that lies at the root of this interior design. It also corresponds to the different states of getting stoned and is used to depict different aspects of this hospitality business for example the variation of tastes on the weed and hash menu. Our brief at the time was to design a contemporary high-end hospitality space in which one smokes weed and hash in a context of security and comfort using elements that make reference to an Arabic atmosphere.

The interior concept was derived from the original name ‘destination’, considering there are only two ultimate destinations we decided to make them both, heaven and hell. For ‘Heaven’ we were inspired by the idea of floating in a cloudscape, airy, light and high. The one off heavenly Wall Art created via the Shop Around creative supermarket agency in Amsterdam supported this fully, including the sunrays radiating from the only back window that we transformed into the sun.

We designed large organic glass elements for the entrance to control the client access and added cubistic clouds of glass and steel to create a sales counter and a screen to hide the vending and coffee machines. By using glass, steel and leather as main materials we created a resistance to the many hot butts and roaches.

‘Hell’ is as expected much more direct, it was inspired by the opium dens of the east, those dark rooms where one stays for days under the influence of that mystic substance. Here we introduced an Arabic theme with leather couches to lay on surrounded just like in ‘Heaven’ by high-end design products mixed in with local Moroccan handy crafts and contrasted by the back lit exploded aluminium wall panels and black glass casings for vending machines and TVs.

We hid the toilets and storage in a black box finished with a tadelakt coating. The toilets enhance the experience level of someone who is stoned by introducing narrow passages, illuminated sinks and the Kisses urinal designed by local designer Meike van Schijndel.

The bipolar concept was given the new name Hi/Lo by Dietwee – brand, design and communication who are responsible for the graphic identity and branding of this high-end smoking club. We have once again been able to create a space that supports our main goal of creating memories. We love being part of the experience that customers will have enjoying this environment in their various stages of getting high.

Designed by Workshop of Wonders


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