Temple Nightclub is powered by dancing, literally and figuratively

The future of partying is here, and it involves something called piezoelectricity at a club its owner describes as “Burning Man meets Las Vegas.”

Temple Nightclub Denver under last-minute work before its soft opening, Oct. 26, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty; club; nightlife; capitol hill;
Temple Nightclub Denver under last-minute work before its soft opening, Oct. 26, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty; club; nightlife; capitol hill;
Temple Nightclub Denver undergoes last-minute work before its soft opening, Oct. 26, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The future of partying is here, and it involves something called piezoelectricity at a club its owner describes as “Burning Man meets Las Vegas.”

I know what you’re thinking: Screw the science, tell me just how wild this place will be. But stay with me here. The newly opened Temple Nightclub inside the former City Hall space on Broadway and 11th is actually being powered, in part, by dancing.

The simple explanation is this: Modules underneath the dancefloor react to pressure and heat to create electricity, which in turn helps power LED lights. (You can read the more in-depth, scientific explanation over at a website helpfully called americanpiezo.com.) It’s a fairly rare trick of sustainability — and just one of many hi-tech elements installed at Temple — that founder Paul Hemming first brought to his club of the same name in San Francisco.

So while it’s not the first of its kind in the country, Temple is the first club of its kind in Denver. It’s also the first piece of the Zen Compound to open in Denver. When all is said and done, the club will connect to an art gallery, a coffee and cocktail bar and a co-working space. And, yes, members of the co-working space will get the benefit of free access to Temple.

Paul Hemming, founder of Temple Nightclub Denver, inside his new space before its soft opening, Oct. 26, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty; club; nightlife; capitol hill;
Paul Hemming, founder of Temple Nightclub Denver, inside his new space before its soft opening, Oct. 26, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Not everything was in place for the soft opening on Thursday, but here’s the kind of tech the three-story, 20,000-square-foot Temple already has or will eventually boast:

  • 100,000 programmable LED lights
  • A power grid that draws on kinetic (dancefloor), solar and wind energy
  • A Funktion One sound system, meticulously tuned to not be overbearing or ear-damaging
  • RFID wristbands that track customer movement throughout the club

“If you put different sensors throughout the club, you can get lots of rich data,” Hemming said. “You download the app, you log into Facebook, there will be a gamification component, a customer loyalty component, and they can link it with the bracelet to be able to buy Temple tokens and do cashless payments as well … and they’ll be little souvenirs people can take with them.”

Temple Nightclub Denver under last-minute work before its soft opening, Oct. 26, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty; club; nightlife; capitol hill;
Temple Nightclub Denver under last-minute work before its soft opening, Oct. 26, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

It’s all in service to Hemming’s ideals and growing vision as an “artrepreneur.”

The Zen Compounds in San Francisco and Denver were, to put it dramatically, born in a fire. When Hemming lost his big film school project in a dormitory blaze, he dropped out and turned his attention to his hobby, DJing.

“I kind of went on this music detour. I love music. It’s food, it’s medicine, it’s a drug, it’s magic, all rolled in one,” he said. “And that’s kind of been the driving force from the beginning. (When I opened) a record store, it just kind of kept evolving to wanting to throw my own events, to opening a nightclub — all the things I was passionate about, I just continued to weave into the project.”

The pieces are still falling into place for the Zen Compound in Denver, but the Temple is well on its way to being fully up and running for a grand opening Nov. 3 and 4. After that, it’ll be open 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Ashley Dean

Author: Ashley Dean

Ashley Dean covers culture and other odds and ends. She previously covered music and did some copy editing for the Denver Post, the Colorado Daily and the Daily Camera. She's from New York, likes her bourbon straight and has strong opinions about Kanye West. She can be reached at adean@denverite.com, 303-502-2804 or @AshleyDean.