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Now that we’re two months into 2024, some early design trends are emerging. And if there’s one cultural tastemaker defining this year’s visual direction thus far, it’s David Lynch.

A rendering of a crowd of people outside of a circular pavilion wrapped in red curtains. A sign above the doorway says "Thinking Room." The pavilion is designed by David Lynch and will be unveiled at Salone del Mobile 2024. Part of Azure's guide of what to see at Milan Design Week 2024.

The first major Lynchian development came when Milan’s Salone del Mobile announced that the film director is designing a pair of feature installations for this year’s fair. (Lynch’s fellow filmmaker Antonio Monda curated the project, while local repertory theatre Piccolo Teatro di Milano acted as an additional collaborator.) Dubbed “thinking rooms,” Lynch’s environments are being pitched as cerebral escapes that will encourage attendees to reflect on the relationship between interior design and the interiority of the mind. Early renderings depict circular spaces shrouded in mysterious red curtains.

Notably, this isn’t Lynch’s first venture into interior design. Apart from introducing us to some of cinema and television’s most memorable onscreen sets, the Twin Peaks mastermind also designed Silencio, a Parisian nightclub opened in 2011 that takes inspiration from the venue that Betty (played by Naomi Watts) and Rita (Laura Harring) visit in Mulholland Drive.

As buzz around Silencio grew, its founder, Arnaud Frisch, went on to open two additional locations: a second Parisian outpost, as well as a sandy Ibiza beach house. This month, the members-only club collective unveiled its fourth hotspot, Silencio NYC, in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan. Design duties for this address went to Crosby Studios — and yet, in keeping with Silencio tradition, the end result still feels like something straight out of a Lynch film.

A woman takes a picture of two people sitting on a recliner sofa that's upholstered in a fabric that looks like an antique French tapestry. The sofa is at the centre of an all-white room with a strange glow.
Photo by Eric Mutrie

It helps that Crosby Studios founder and creative director Harry Nuriev is a celebrated surrealist in his own right. At Design Miami this past December, the Russian-born, NYC-based designer presented the Tapestry Sofa, which upholstered a suburban recliner in a faux-distressed fabric that riffed on antique French textile patterns. Metal attachments on the sides introduced a coordinating cocktail table, floor lamp, and iPad holder, while the surrounding, completely white room gave off a bizarre, somewhat clinical — yet equally dreamlike — glow. The display was at once retro and futuristic, inviting and yet vaguely unsettling. It was, in other words, textbook Lynch.

Inside Silencio NYC, a club designed by Crosby Studios and inspired by David Lynch, two doorways in an all-red room are framed with glowing red neon light strips. The red velvet curtains behind each doorway are pulled back to reveal intimate private rooms that are covered in floor-to-ceiling gold metallic panels. Each one has a built-in bench and circular cocktail table at the centre.

Lest there was ever any doubt about Nuriev’s creative idols, Silencio NYC lays his cards right on the table. As Crosby Studios says in its press release, “Harry wanted to have a dialogue with the director whose movies [he] grew up on.” Hence the project’s moody colour scheme and seductive material palette.

Inside Silencio NYC, a club designed by Crosby Studios and inspired by David Lynch, a doorway in an all-red room is framed with glowing red neon light strips. The red velvet curtain behind the doorway is pulled back to reveal an intimate private room that is covered in floor-to-ceiling gold metallic panels.
A closeup of one of the gold private rooms in Silencio NYC (a club designed by Crosby Studios and inspired by David Lynch), showing the built-in bench and central circular cocktail table. The room is two steps up from the main dance floor.

Indeed, the club’s design thrives on juxtaposition, with crimson velvet curtains pulling back to reveal private rooms splashed in floor-to-ceiling gold. The reflective surfaces in these nooks (which are raised on platforms two steps up from the dance floor) add another layer of optical drama, heightening the idea that things in this subterranean environment are perhaps not quite as they first appear.

Inside Silencio NYC, a club designed by Crosby Studios and inspired by David Lynch, a glowing rectangular red bar is installed in an all-red room.

Standalone elements, like the boxy DJ booth and circular cocktail tables, continue the tone-on-tone approach that distinguishes the project’s monochromatic red dance floor from its intimate metallic alcoves. (The back bar area is another golden focal point.) Lest things begin to blur together as the night goes on, Crosby Studios delineates walls and doorways with glowing neon borders.

Inside Silencio NYC, a club designed by Crosby Studios and inspired by David Lynch, a glowing rectangular red bar (shown on the right side of the image) is installed in an all-red room. The surrounding doorways are framed in glowing red neon lights.
Inside Silencio NYC, a club designed by Crosby Studios and inspired by David Lynch, a glowing rectangular red bar (shown on the left side of the image) is installed in an all-red room. The surrounding doorways are framed in glowing red neon lights.

Along with evoking Studio 54 and the glory days of NYC clubbing, Silencio NYC is also rich in allusions to Lynchian lore. Fans of Twin Peaks will immediately recognize the club’s red curtains as a reference to the Black Lodge, and they may also detect a hint of the Roadhouse’s signage in the venue’s abundant neon.

A portrait of David Lynch, a man featuring white hair wearing a white shirt and black blazer looking off to the side with a serious expression.
David Lynch portrait by Dean Hurley

What has inspired this sudden David Lynch renaissance? Perhaps the eerie déjà vu feeling brought on by the upcoming US election has jump-started a new appreciation for Lynch’s skill at conveying a sense of foreboding. Or maybe Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming Dune: Part Two — and discussions about Lynch’s own attempt to adapt Frank Herbert’s space epic — have cast a spotlight on Lynch’s distinct visual style. Whatever the case, when it comes to 2024, something tells us that Silencio NYC won’t be our last peek behind the red velvet curtain.

Silencio NYC Continues 2024’s Fascination with David Lynch

Crosby Studios follows the blueprint established by the film director to create a surreal, cinematic club.

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