Space Miami, today the name is synonymous with dance music in the United States. The go-to venue for any nightlife enthusiast in the nation, the club is proudly marching on into it’s second decade of operation. Enter Louis Puig.
As of the late 1990s, this former DJ-turned-nightclub impresario had already owned a few successful nightclubs in the South Florida area. However, for his next project, he wanted to break from the commercial feel of his previous ventures and embark on something new. Ever the risk-taker, Puig embraced the challenge and began construction of a new multi-room megaclub at 142 NE 11th Street, to be named Club Space. Inhabiting a “fixer-upper” of a sprawling one-story warehouse just off of Biscayne Boulevard, the original Club Space was a serious gamble on the part of Puig. With a concentrated marketing push emphasizing an egalitarian, no-nonsense approach towards the customers, as well as the then-unheard of 24-hour operating permit, Club Space promised an exciting, over-the-top club experience for the discerning dance music enthusiast.
With state-of-the-art lighting, sound, and visual systems, the venue rapidly set “the” standard for clubs not only in the Miami area, but throughout the country. With original residents such as legendary DJ/Producer Oscar G, trance maven Edgar V, house stalwart Roland, and local favorite Ivano Bellini, the gauntlet had been thrown down. Coupled with a sudden influx of guest DJs such as Paul Van Dyk, Paul Oakenfold, John Digweed, Sasha, Deep Dish, Danny Tenaglia (who played a record 20-hour set during the 2000 WMC), and a then-unknown Dutch fellow named Tiësto, the nightlife landscape of the area, and the nation as a whole had been shaken up. Guest DJs of course took note of this phenomena, and these former main room denizens soon were requesting to work their magic on the outdoors.
Closing times of 2 PM rapidly became the norm. After a bittersweet farewell to the old building in early 2003, the Space crew moved into their new digs with a vengeance. Like the predecessor, the new Space took up residence in a vintage warehouse. Unlike the previous facility, the new building was a multi-story monster, complete with an outdoor rooftop terrace to take the place of the legendary patio from the old building.
Redefining the term “superclub”, the new Space had vastly increased it’s capacity, bringing in record crowds for such DJs as Danny Tenaglia, Erick Morillo, Steve Lawler, Deep Dish, Paul Van Dyk, John Digweed, Sasha, Tiësto, as well as then-rising stars such as James Zabiela, Nic Fanciulli, Sander Kleinenberg, Danny Howells, and numerous other talents. Drawn to it’s even more amazing technical sophistication, the new “Space 34”, had become the stop in Miami for every DJ of note. Soon, Space began to receive numerous media accolades and awards from the local government for “making” Downtown. Some pundits went even as far to suggest that NE 11th Street be named “Louis Puig Boulevard”.
With no signs of slowing, Space progressed througout the first decade of the 21st century, consistently bringing in the top dance talent from throughout the world. Sets of ten hours or more became the norm for guest DJs, with talent like Deep Dish, Behrouz, Sander Kleinenberg, Erick Morillo, David Guetta, Eric Prydz, Victor Calderone, Mark Knight, Boris, Desyn Masiello, as well as new residents Cedric Gervais, Patrick M, and Lazardi easily playing into the afternoon hours. This current year, 2010, sees Space celebrating a decade in the business. With most venues in South Florida perishing after a mere season of operation (the dreaded “infant mortality”), the fact that Space has existed for ten years is regarded as a miracle.
Not content to rest their laurels, Puig and the Space team have taken the club to the next level, regarding Space as more than just a club, but as a brand, establishing touring events, pool parties, music releases, and more, as befits a venue regarded by the international dance music press as the top in the United States. Rushing into it’s second decade of existence, even the founders of Space have sat back in amazement at the creation they’ve wrought. One can only speculate what will happen next…
34 NE 11th Street
Miami, FL 33132