Xanadu is a "fun and maximum" roller disco in Brooklyn

Local designer Varun Kataria has unveiled a venue with a mix of colourful, retro details that contains the only permanent roller rink in New York City.

Set in Bushwick, Brooklyn, Xanadu occupies a former industrial warehouse, which was converted by Kataria and his team, who also run the nearby restaurant and venue Turks Inn and Sultan Room.

Colourful interior of Brooklyn roller rink
Xanadu is a multi-functional space with a massive roller rink in Brooklyn

The multi-functional space now contains a roller rink, stage, bar area and large bathrooms, one of which can be converted into a smaller “club within a club”.

According to Kataria, the space originally had columns throughout, but to make a large enough surface for an uninterrupted roller rink the ceiling needed to be supported without columns.

Locker room at Xanadu
It includes a mix of colours and patterns

Working with a local architect friend, Kataria created a structure around the existing structure, suspending the ceiling from the superstructure in order to support the weight, essentially creating a second ceiling.

This allows for a wide space centred around the hand-painted, maple-wood rink, but without sacrificing details for the attendant spaces.

Banquet seating with patterned carpet flooring
Plentiful seating lines the leisure spaces around the rink

The result is a “fun and maximum” space that contains a dizzying mix of patterns and colours.

At the entrance, a desk was placed to rent out custom skates. From here, a walkway passes under an archway anchored by a sofa that wraps around a pole. Guests pass a long bar and on the wall across from it are raised seating areas.

Banquet seating wraps the far side of the space and throughout, multiple entryways have been placed to give access to the massive rink.

Roller rink at Xanadu
It has a massive maple wood roller rink

The ceiling has incongruous shapes cut into it with track lighting. Katari said that the Memphis Group design movement in part influenced the shape, giving the space the sense of an “elevated adult day care.

“It’s not afraid to be playful,” said Katari. “And the relationship with color became a real joy.”

Stage adjacent to the roller rink
A stage sits adjacent to the ring

He added that the combination of many influences and time-periods was meant to have an “uncanny” effect on the visitors.

Details such as infinity mirrors in the long sloping bar, colourful patterns in the carpet and vinyl surface coverings – almost every vinyl surface has a different pattern – create a mix of historical time periods that Kataria said work together to “push nostalgic buttons”, while being contemporary.

He said that the idea was to revive a entertainment form that people often associate more squarely with the past.

“I’m not gonna say it’s an industry in decline, but the spaces themselves are in decline, right?” Katari told Dezeen.

“They’re usually old. But there’s more skaters than ever now. So I think as a cultural practice, it’s exploding, you know, with new energy.”

Red bathroom club
One bathroom can be converted into a mini club

The bathrooms are mostly monotone – one red and one blue. The red one has a hidden DJ set up so that it can become Club Flush.

Other recent rinks include an ice skating rink built in Canada by architecture studio Lemay, which it says is the largest in the world.

The photography is by Matt Harrington.

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