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Haiku, London


dpa’s brief was for a contemporary environment in which all of the emphasis would be on the food offering.

In order to reflect this, we determined that the focus of illumination should be on two areas: the tables with the food upon them, and the show kitchens that are on each of the restaurant’s three levels. The finishes of the restaurant are mostly dark, with black granite walls and painted concrete ceilings, and this was exploited to create a high-contrast environment where the light only reached where it was required. It was determined at an early stage that table lamps could not be used due to the nature of the service, and so it was necessary to spotlight each table from above.

A bespoke lantern was created at the front of each of the show kitchens, consisting of a Japanese-style paper diffuser laminated between two layers of glass, with dimmable fluorescent tubes inside. The consistency of this design between the three kitchens helped to create some continuity between three dining areas with different proportions and hence different lighting solutions. Simple IP-rated recessed adjustable downlights from Hilco were used in the show kitchens both to provide adequate task lighting for the chefs and to highlight the food preparation for customers.

At the entrance it was necessary to manage the transition between the modern, sterile street outside, and the warm interior of the restaurant. The first thing that a customer sees when they arrive is a wall of candles, each in an individual carved stone recess, behind the maître d’ counter. Passing this small lobby they proceed down a corridor that is fitted with a series of gobo projectors. These luminaires project a soft texture onto one wall of the space, and are angled so that the pattern transfers on to customers’ shoulders as they move. This experience, with visual interest in a relatively confined space, ensures that emerging into the double-height dining area has a strong impact.

The ground floor dining area is separated by a wooden mashrubia screen from the mezzanine level above. This screen is dark on the outside, creating a silhouetted pattern which provides tantalising glimpses of the floor above, while tungsten halogen lighting on the opposite side brings out the natural warm colour of the timber louvres that cover the windows. The height of this space presented a challenge to the concept of spotlighting the tables, since when tables were moved it would not be practical for the restaurant’s staff to re-aim the luminaires. Robotic spotlights from Remote Control Lighting were mounted on tracks in the ceiling, fitted with narrow-beam AR-111 lamps. These can be adjusted from ground level by the restaurant staff using a simple remote control, and even individually turned on and off to account for tables being removed.

The mezzanine level presented the opposite challenge, with low ceilings that could not accept recessed luminaires. A track system was adopted once again, using Concord’s Torus 50FX fixtures in three varieties: narrow beam with a honeycomb louvre for spotlighting tables, wide beam for lighting artwork, and a version with a spread lens to highlight the warm colour of the timber screen surrounding this floor. Careful positioning of the track ensures that spotlights are kept out of passageways, thus protecting the customers’ heads!

The basement is a space without daylight, and so care had to be taken to create interest and break up the walls surrounding the dining area. On descending the stairs customers are faced with another patterned timber screen, this time uplit by a series of Cube Cool 50 luminaires. The remaining walls of the space are dark stone, and so some are lit and others are not lit in order to create differences between them. In place of the spotlighting on other levels, a series of simple track-mounted pendant is used to position a reflector lamp over each table, creating a very cosy and intimate dining experience.

All of the lighting in Haiku is dimmable, and connected to a scene-setting control system from iLight. Scenes are programmed for different times of day to achieve the best ambience, with slow, discreet, fades between them controlled by an astronomical clock.


Haiku, London Haiku, London
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