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The One, Hong Kong, China

Issue 81 October / November 2014 : Retail : Restaurant


A startling three in one dining experience perched above the neon wonder world that is Hong Kong, The One takes diners on a culinary adventure through differing cultures and cuisines. Lighting designers Firefly created differing lighting schemes for each section of the restaurant, creating a discernibly different atmosphere in each.

Perched on the 18th floor of Hong Kong’s tallest retail complex, The One is a ‘three in one’ dining experience created by Hong Kong-based Chinese actress, Carina Lau and Aedas Interior Ltd’s award-winning designer, Ira Imerlishvili, whose signature resort and hotel projects span five continents.

Firefly Lighting Design was commissioned to work across the whole 18th floor project which includes three different high-end restaurants as well as a tapas bar, link corridor and restrooms, with Owen Xuan in the Firefly Hong Kong office taking the lead.

Taking inspiration from as far afield as Kyoto and Barcelona, two of the three restaurants offer fine-dining experiences and the third is a glamorous tapas and sangria bar. Each of the venues has been designed to suit the themes of the country they represent, with Peter Veale and his team at Firefly Lighting acting to create an individual look and feel for each of the three spaces.

 “It was extremely important to use lighting to create three very different dining experiences and yet have a consistency to the scheme that tied them together,” comments Veale.

“As all three restaurants have floor to ceiling glazed expanses that deliver dramatic views across Victoria Harbour, we chose to unify them with concealed lines of light along the blinds by using only two types of Megaman LEDs throughout, enabling us to keep the colour temperature consistent.”

The lighting needed to complement and accent the interior design of each individual space with appropriate light levels for the type and mood of each restaurant. It was also required that Firefly comply with Hong Kong’s recently-introduced energy code, while meeting the client’s tight budget.

One particular challenge for this project was the amount of daylight penetrating through to each restaurant through the typically large tower block windows. The lighting design created acted to even out the day-lit spaces by balancing out the artificial light levels provided. Light levels were programmed throughout the daytime to change and slowly transform to dramatic and intimate restaurant atmospheres at night.

The link corridor lighting plays an important role, balancing out the neutral zone between the lift arrival area and the three dining areas and restrooms. All the lighting in the entrance area is indirect, with concealed lines of light hidden behind the wall and ceiling panels.

Concealed lines of Megaman AR111 lamps run along the wall and ceiling panels throughout the corridor that connects the three restaurants and the restrooms, to the main lift. The only direct lighting used in this space highlights the names of each restaurant to visitors on their arrival.

All three restaurants are unified by a gentle glow that lights the blinds, which are lowered slightly for effect.

Each restaurant has its own characteristic design, but all have in common a contemporary approach.

The Zurriola, the Spanish inspired fine dining restaurant in The One, is more traditional and uses large-scale works of art to create drama while transporting the vitality of Barcelona to its diners.

As well as accenting these pieces, Firefly also decided to make a feature of Zurriola’s floor to ceiling wine display. Using Megaman’s 10W LED AR111 lamp technology to light the artwork, Firefly also chose to use Megaman’s 8W MR16 28° and 36° narrow beamed LED reflector lamps to highlight the bottle labels in the wine racks. By accenting the artworks and wine racks, the end result is a sophisticated lighting scheme that brings drama to Zurriola, without causing any residual glare to the seated diners.

Kyo-Shun, the Japanese restaurant within The One serves Kaiseki cuisine, a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. The space has been designed to include a main dining area that overlooks an outdoor Japanese garden, as well as a sushi bar and teppanyaki tables. The lighting within the space is a mix of both the functional and the dramatic.

Firefly opted to incorporate integral lighting through edge-lit glass walls in this area of the project. The technique of ‘wall grazing’, dispersing light across wall surfaces, has also been used throughout and creates a particular sense of drama on the lowered ceiling in the dining area, using Megaman’s 10W AR111 and 8W MR16 lamps.

Kyo-Shun has an indoor and outdoor Japanese garden and the restaurant features a combined sushi bar, teppanyaki and table serving. The lighting here is both functional and dramatic, with integral lighting within displays including edge-lit glass walls and grazing techniques and a glowing ceiling at the sushi bar.

The teppanyaki area has a sand effect on the lowered ceiling, which is grazed with light.

The design for the tapas area, Tapagria, uses rich materials and the lighting scheme provides contrast by accenting features such as the DJ booth which is bathed in a halo of light and the animated water effect feature walls. As well as this, subtle lines of light have been placed around the bar and the open kitchen.

The glamorous Tapagria tapas and sangria bar is a dining destination during the week and is transformed into a nightclub for the weekend.

Designed using tailored timber and wood interiors to mirror the Spanish head chef’s authentic cooking style, the dramatic scheme developed for this area is all about contrast. The feature walls within Tapagria have been lit using Megaman’s AR111 lamps, to create the illusion of an animated water effect for a more vibrant night-club feel.

The same selection of specified LED luminaires was used throughout the project, employing the same LED lamp for different types of downlight to unify the colour temperature while allowing a more simple installation and maintenance process for all those involved.

The One is a unified space of differing parts and the fact that there is a sense of togetherness running throughout it is surprising, given the vastly different nature of the interlocking parts. The lighting design   plays its part to hold this project together in a seamless fashion.


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