For almost 35 years music venue EKKO is known for their sharp profile of new and promising artists, from gritty grunch bands to hipster hip hop acts. Acts such as Franz Ferdinand, The Black Keys, Father John Misty, Grizzly Bear, Nils Frahm and many others performed in EKKO in their early days. Being the only music venue left in the inner city of Utrecht still housing a historical location next to the authentic canals, the interior is an essential part of the experience of a night spent in EKKO.
With serving a wide variety of both acts and visitors, Studio TOIMII created a character profile and mood board, by analyzing EKKO’s guests, corporate identity, marketing campaigns and programming. With a defined profile and functional requirements, the cloakroom, the toilet area and the backstage room were redesigned and furnished with minimal, effective means and a strict budget.
The cloakroom is on both side walls embraced by vandal-proof lockers with soft toned doors and pronounced black frames. Daylight from the tall, historical windows can be controlled by horizontal, matte black blinds, where functional, adjustable spots, hanging down from the high ceiling create a playful, elegant ambience. A wooden waiting bench accompanied by a Persian rug tie the room together, creating a welcoming waiting area.
The backstage area has the purpose of functioning both as a place for artists before and after shows, as well as a place for meetings during day time. Being a multi functional room without daylight, covering less than 15 square meters, the limited space had to be used effective. When entering the room, the main wall is decorated with a tapestry from the befriended LeGuessWho festival, a local partner of which EKKO hosts its annual after party. By creating two connecting sitting areas, there is plenty of space for a small group of people to hang out and relax. At the same time it offers the possibility to sit together with smaller numbers for meetings and appointments. Sturdy, timeless vintage design pieces with an edgy yet welcoming feeling were used for furnishing, creating the right atmosphere for both purposes of use.
The modern, open interior turns the functional cloak room into a calm and inviting space. The subdued colours and minimalist furnishing form a suitable balance with the warm atmosphere of the historic building and its wooden, ornamented interior. With bespoke and vintage design pieces, the backstage formed a welcoming place for both artists and meetings.
Both area’s reflecting the authentic identity of EKKO as well as their residency.
The dining/meeting area with a vintage Herman Miller table by George Nelson, accompanied by IKEA wire mesh chairs by Niels Gammelgaard and a Trava pendant lamp by Carl Thore for Granhaga metallindustri.
Photos by Tom Philip Janssen and Studio TOIMII