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Dramatic and Elegant Lighting of TORI NO SU by PointOfView

Point View

Project: Tori No Su Japanese Restaurant
Designed by PointOfView Lighting & DBI Design 
Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Point of View Lighting & DBI Design share with us their work on the lighting solutions in a Japanese restaurant in Abu Dhabi.

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About the Project:

Completed in June 2012, TORI NO SU (meaning ‘bird’s nest’) was officially opened at the end of August 2012 on Podium Level 3, opposite the hotel’s main lobby and with its own designated entrance.

The Jumeirah Hotel takes up one of the five famous Etihad Towers, reaching up to 920 ft high. It has 382 guestrooms and 199 serviced apartments overlooking the Arabian Gulf. The Etihad Towers were developed by Sheikh Suroor bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, and the Jumeirah Hotel’s common parts are rumoured to be decorated with his personal Arab art collection.

TORI NO SU is the largest restaurant within the hotel, mixing contemporary style and refined taste within an interior designed by DBI Design (based in Surfers Paradise, Australia). DBI Design were also responsible for the architecture and interior design across the entire Etihad Towers complex.

The overall design objective was to create a modern, sleek and dramatic restaurant that is inviting, comfortable, warm and elegant.

A natural palette of stone, timber and leather creates warmth and helps define pools of space, whilst a living wall of grass provides a calming backdrop with reference to the traditional Japanese focus on freshness.

Backlit bars and screens inject the space with colour and vitality whilst the bathrooms are enveloped in mosaic murals that insinuate the playfulness of surprise experiences.

The lighting by POV aims to enhance the playful and creative nature of the interior, whilst complementing the various layers, textures, materials and forms.

The POV team took care to balance and harmonise the elements. ‘The challenge was to harmonise without adding visual clutter to the space- as well as to ensure functionality.” Said Fransiska Laksmono, senior lighting designer with Mark Elliott on the project.

POV created a sea of simple paper lanterns running through the space to provide ambience, punching it through with accent AR111 spotlights within the open-cell ceiling.

POV backlit the stone with warm white cold-cathode, thus providing a secondary layer of ambient glow at human level, encompassing diners with glowing walls.

The living green wall serves as backdrop, and POV added drama by illuminating it with narrow streaks of light during service hours, to provide contrast and enhance the texture of the grass. At night the team inserted metal halide ‘grow lights’ to ensure the plants remain alive and healthy.

The kitchen led by Chef Ando serves traditional Japanese dishes along with contemporary creations. Separate areas such as Teppanyaki and Robatayaki counters, a Sushi bar, drinks bar with hito-kuchi (bite-sized morsels) and general seating areas, provide lively urban interaction within an authentic modern Japanese ambiance. Those not wishing to follow the menu ask the Chef for Omakase – spur of the moment dishes, which are another tradition of Japanese hospitality.

“In some ways darkness is as important as light, and particularly in a subtle restaurant setting such as TORI NO SU.” Said Mark Elliott, design director at POV. “It was important to create contrast, instead of immersing the entire space with light, and to allow the various layers of the interior to ‘breathe’. This, in turn, enhances the hierarchy of the space and helps guide the viewers’ attention.”

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