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MONDO ARC

Aqua Shard, London, UK

Issue 75 October / November 2013 : Retail : Restaurant

INTERIOR DESIGN: Jestico & Whiles LIGHTING DESIGN: Into & David Yeo


Lighting design practice Into was appointed as lighting consultants on all three panoramic restaurants in The Shard in London. Aqua is the last of the three luxurious dining areas to be completed.

The Shard, London’s latest superstructure designed by Renzo Piano, officially opened to much fanfare in February this year when the first tenant, The View from The Shard, starting inviting visitors to enjoy the best view of London. Since then, floors 31-33 have been leased for restaurant accommodation amounting to 30,000 sqft and including a triple height atrium giving spectacular views over the City and West End.

The two restauranteurs involved are Aqua Restaurant Group who run the the 31st and 33rd floors whilst the 32nd floor is operated by Rainer Becker and Arjun Waney. Both operators already run highly successful restaurant and bar businesses in the UK and internationally.

Spanning two wings of the 31st floor, the 220-cover Aqua Shard restaurant has been designed by London practice Jestico + Whiles who worked closely with owner David Yeo, founder of Hong Kong’s Aqua Restaurant Group, to deliver a contemporary cosmopolitan interior with distinctly British touches. Gin and tea, both with strong roots in this part of London, have inspired the design. Liberty fabrics appear in subtle touches throughout the restaurant, complementing the dark oak floor. From sunrise to sunset, guests can enjoy the ever-changing views of the London skyline as well as the River Thames, stretching from the Houses of Parliament to St. Paul’s, Tower Bridge and the City to the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf.

Into Lighting was brought on board to realise the client’s visions for a theatrical and dynamic lighting scheme for the space comprising a main bar and atrium area, two restaurant areas, circulation spaces and private dining areas. The lighting was to evolve throughout the day and night to enhance the function of each space whilst keeping glare and reflections into the glass to a minimum.

“The biggest challenge was without doubt dealing with so many windows and avoiding too many light reflections hindering the view,” states Darren Orrow, Director at Into. “It was also a challenge for us to go with the flow on the client’s decision for perimeter feature lighting when we knew reflections would be an issue. However, with careful consideration of the suspension height, the reflections never really hinder the view, especially when seated.”

The lighting design needed to enhance the plush and high quality material and finishes specification of the interiors. All elements of the lighting scheme needed to be subtly and carefully controlled to ensure a dramatic and intimate feel to the venue. This was maintained by providing flexibility to change the illumination depending on the function within each of the spaces.

Uniquely, the client David Yeo is also listed as being responsible for lighting design along with Into.

“David provided the creative direction throughout the design process and was involved in every meeting and decision regarding lighting from specification of fittings, lamp types and beam angles to circuit groupings and scene setting.”

The venue’s reception area is located at the bottom of the stairs in the triple height atrium space. Once entering the venue you are immediately confronted by the main bar and lounge area within the atrium. In this space the lighting is extremely minimal, the key illumination within the atrium space is provided by bespoke pendants (designed by David Yeo) over the banquette seating and in the window line to draw your eye out to the magnificent view.

The other main element of the space is the vast bar which is clad in metallic and marble finishes on the façades and a black marble top. The sides of the bar are washed with LED fittings located on the underside nosing to accentuate the materials. Concealed warm white LED tape illuminates the main bottle step feature which extends to the ceiling whilst also providing working light for the staff.

To meet the theatrical lighting brief and provide the main accent lighting within the main restaurants, very low glare adjustable downlights with honeycomb louvres were specified. The fittings are focused onto tables with minimal lighting to circulation areas avoiding unnecessary lighting of floor space. These use low voltage halogen reflector IRC lamps chosen for their colour rendering properties whilst being able to be dimmed to a very low level. They were also specified due to the very tight beam angle available as the client was very specific on the effects and ambiance he was after. All lighting was specified in black to help visually mix in with the black ceiling with the idea being that the light sources were to have as little visual impact as possible, honeycomb louvers were also specified to reduce the glare as much as possible.

The private dining rooms are again illuminated with the low glare fittings focusing all downlights onto tables. Bespoke crystal chandeliers were manufactured by Tom Kirk to the client’s specification and are suspended above the tables to help create intimacy and privacy whilst adding to the luxurious feel of these spaces.

There are three key feature walls within the space, the first two being the ‘gin’ and ‘tea’ walls on either side of the restaurant displaying various tea and gin containers relating back to the history of the area. These are illuminated with minimal low glare LED fittings with a bespoke Rosco filter to increase the warm light which grazes the front of the displays. The third feature wall is within the ‘gin’ side of the restaurant which acts as a back bar whilst also displaying bell jars containing various Lepidoptera. These are illuminated using a minimal LED profile system which is mounted integrally to the underside of the shelving with concealed warm white LED profiles illuminating the plush silk material to the back walls.

It was imperative throughout the design to only illuminate key surfaces and focal points to minimise glare and reflection into the glass which wraps around the entire extent of the space including the WCs.

All lighting within the venue is controlled by a Mode Evolution system with scenes activated via the astronomical time clock to allow the venue to change and evolve throughout the day and night relating to the time of sunset. The lighting can also be controlled via LCD control plates to allow each area to be adjusted individually if required. All LED fittings are controlled via DMX to allow them to be dimmed to a very low level. So was the experience of working so closely with the client a satisfying one?

“David is known for creatively driving the design aspect of his projects and we expected him to be a challenge to work with,” reveals Orrow.

“Yes, he has very high expectations of his lighting designers but his tight briefing and quick decision making really helped on a project with so many behind the scene challenges due to the unique nature of the building and the architecture of the space.”

www.into.co.uk

Also at the Shard.......

Hutong

Into was briefed to provide a theatrical and dynamic lighting scheme for this fine dining panoramic restaurant on Level 33 of The Shard. The project comprises two bar areas, two restaurant areas, circulation spaces and private dining areas. The lighting was to evolve throughout the day and night to enhance the function of each space whilst keeping glare and reflections in the perimeter glass to a minimum.

The lighting design was to enhance the bespoke materials and finishes of the interior and illuminate bespoke joinery items and feature walls throughout the space. All elements of the lighting scheme needed to be carefully controlled to ensure a dramatic and intimate feel to the venue was maintained whilst providing flexibility to change the ambience depending on the functions within each of the spaces.

The reception area is located at the top of the stairs in the triple height atrium space. To the right is the Beijing side of the restaurant and to the left the Shanghai side. The first main element within each of the spaces is the bar which is clad in stone and wood. These are dramatically illuminated with very narrow pools of light on the bar top and shafts of light across the wooden back bar in the Beijing bar and across the feature ceiling in the Shanghai bar. Concealed warm white LED profiles illuminate the glass displays whilst also providing working light for the staff.

To meet the theatrical lighting brief and provide the main accent lighting within the open ceiling areas of the restaurants, Into specified very low glare adjustable spotlights on a suspended track system. The fittings are focused onto tables and key surfaces avoiding unnecessary lighting of floor space whilst allowing flexibility if the table layout were to be altered. Into specified low voltage halogen reflector IRC lamps chosen for their high colour rendering properties to light food. In areas with ceilings low glare adjustable halogen downlights were specified with deep set lamps baffled from view. All lighting was specified in black to help camouflage them against the black ceiling.

There are two key feature walls within the space, the first being the tea wall on the Beijing side which is illuminated with concealed LED Linear fittings within the shelving and shafts of light illuminating the tea tiles. The feature wall within the Shanghai side comprises a series of bespoke Chinese lanterns mounted floor to ceiling, the effect is also accentuated as the ceiling is mirrored giving the effect of twice as many fittings.

The private dining rooms are illuminated with the track system focusing all spotlights onto tables and key surfaces. Bespoke Chinese lanterns manufactured to the client’s specification are suspended either side of the doors and above the tables to help create intimacy and privacy.

Into has achieved a very theatrical low glare lighting scheme that provides minimal reflections in the glass perimeter meaning diners can enjoy the breathtaking views across London. The lighting design retains the element of theatre even at lunchtime when the restaurant is flooded with natural light through the perimeter glazing.

www.into.co.uk

Oblix

Into was also appointed as lighting consultants to realise Rainer Becker and Claudio Silvestrin’s vision for a minimal, atmospheric and architectural lighting scheme for Oblix. The venue comprises a reception area with corridors, a main restaurant, a lounge bar and open kitchens.

The lighting was to evolve throughout the day and night to enhance the function of each space whilst creating a ‘wow’ factor for guests from initial arrival to circulating the space on the way to their table. This lighting should not distract from the incredible day and night views of the capital through the totally glazed perimeter of the venue. Reflections from light sources and fittings were to be minimised.

The lighting design was to enhance the plush and high quality materials, textures and finishes of the interiors designed by Claudio Silvestrin.
All elements of the lighting scheme needed to be subtly and carefully controlled to ensure an exclusive and intimate feel to the venue was maintained. The lighting needed to provide flexibility to change the ambience depending on the function within each of the spaces.

On entering the venue the reception area lighting is set at a very atmospheric level. Directly in front, past the movable battery powered illuminated menu board, is the welcome wall with an internally illuminated stone totem and a backdrop of a deeply saturated vertical floor to ceiling wall slot. This feature aims to mimic a summer sunset and changes from amber in the day through the blues, reds and lilacs at night.

Guests are then directed down one of two corridors depending on their booking - left to the lounge bar or right to the restaurant. The lighting in the narrow corridor is a combination of high level indirect LED ceiling slots in 2200K and stone totems with underlit moving water to create a dramatic entrance to both the restaurant and bar areas. The water totems are internally illuminated by low glare snooted lockable LED spotlights to project a dynamic water pattern through the moving water onto the wall and ceiling whilst also bringing out the texture of the stone walls. This creates a dramatic and atmospheric journey to the seating areas.

As you are led to your table, you pass through the open kitchens and wood fire oven where deep set low voltage halogen downlights are used for the working and display lighting to these food areas. Halogen sources were chosen for their high colour rendering properties to show off the beautifully presented food. Feature lighting to the display counters are bespoke miniature square LED pendants (25mm x 500mm).

The main lighting throughout the space is from deep set low voltage IRC halogen downlights focused on each table to minimise any reflections in the windows and give a dimming warmth and good colour rendering to the food served. General circulation lighting has been kept to a minimum.

The library area book display is illuminated by recessed 15mm diameter miniature LED spotlights to highlight each book, again minimising vertical reflection.

All the control settings were designed to maximise the views out across London by keeping light levels as low as practical inside the restaurant.
Illuminated stone totems, with internally mounted 2200k LED tape, are located at the atrium end of the restaurant and provide a soft, warm focal point to the area.

www.into.co.uk

 

 

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