Silencio Designer Harry Nuriev on Bringing the Lynchian Club to NYC

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Harry Nuriev
Courtesy of Harry Nuriev

The Crosby Studios founder tells AnOther about fulfilling his dream to design a nightclub in the Big Apple, and how he built on Silencio’s Parisian heritage

Silencio has long been an iconic hideaway on the Parisian nightlife scene, but earlier this month a fresh iteration officially touched down in New York. To be more precise, the new venue is located in Hell’s Kitchen, in the heart of NYC, and just moments away from the site of legendary nightclub Studio 54, which only adds to the star-studded aura of the original, famously designed by David Lynch and host to the likes of Virgil Abloh, Prince, Bret Easton Ellis and Lana Del Rey

This time around, it was Harry Nuriev who was tasked with overseeing Silencio’s design, though the Crosby Studio founder wasn’t shy about paying tribute to the Lynchian vibe inside the club’s precursor. (The opening weekend even featured a Twin Peaks-themed evening hosted by Nuriev himself.) Think: lots of plush textures and the all-important long, red drapes, concealing reflective booths, tailor-made for sharing intimate moments in a gold, metallic glow. 

So far, so Lynch. But Nuriev also put his own spin on the interiors of course, modernising the space with a sleek, minimalist aesthetic, and drenching it in red neon. “David Lynch has the most iconic sets. It’s hard not to be inspired,” the designer tells AnOther, of looking to the filmmaker for inspiration. “All I needed to find was the right angle or twist.”

Below, Nuriev tells AnOther more about his influences, plus the unique challenges he encountered when designing Silencio for New York City, and how he hopes the club will bring a little bit of Paris to the US city’s creative scene.

What initially drew you to the Silencio project?

Harry Nuriev: Simple. Since I first moved to NYC, back in 2010, I have always had a dream to design a nightclub. I’m huge fan of David Lynch and Silencio, which is located next door [to] my studio in Paris.

How did it feel to work with the club’s team on bringing your vision to life?

Harry Nuriev: It was very easy and natural. The club’s involvement [was] all about love [and] fantasy – and within the space you experience it. All the above is what I do for life.

What was your relationship with the club’s original, Paris location? 

Harry Nuriev: My studio is in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, not too far from Silencio. It embodies the real Paris. 

And what did New York’s unique energy bring to the project?

Harry Nuriev: I love this question. Not just NYC but this particular area is where I used to live. The area has unique energy. It’s [a] combination of thick and intense Midtown hustle, with the chaos of Hell’s Kitchen, and the incredible heritage of everything that has happened above 50th St. over the last 100 years. 

Are there any unique challenges to designing an exclusive club space like Silencio?

Harry Nuriev: We needed to use a lot of existing surfaces and objects that I found very challenging, but very interesting.

What do you hope that Silencio can bring to NYC’s creative scene?

Harry Nuriev: Paris!