Feature, Retail

Intimate and dramatic lighting for the elemental world

Dramatic and engaging lighting used at the Ramusake restaurant in Dubai

Ramusake, at the Hilton Doubletree, is the first appearance of the exciting London brand in Dubai, courtesy of the Mahiki Group. Located at a prime location in JBR, the restaurant’s expansive terrace offers incredible views over the Bluewater Island Development, and the soon to be completed observation wheel, the Ain Dubai. Offering a specialized menu of Japanese classics, with a refreshingly modern twist, the restaurant captures the ‘Isakaya’ dining concept perfectly.

Taking inspiration from the Shōwa era, (1920’s Tokyo), the venue’s interior design and lighting serve to accentuate and re-inforce the food offering creating an encompassing, authentic dining experience. The restaurant feels very elemental. Fire, steam, smoke and spectacle are provided by the centrepiece Robata Grille, and ice within the large fresh fish displays. There is water in the views of the Arabian Gulf and finally air, through the entirely retractable glass façade. In combination with the material and finishes palette, formed of aged concrete, charred timber and hand painted Japanese artworks, the entire environment transports the guest to another location and time.

The space is generally dim, but accentuates the necessary areas with subtle and discreet lighting

Working from initial conceptualization to final site stages, DPA lighting provided creative and technical guidance throughout. The original concept brief was to create an intimate, dramatic lit environment, incorporating authentic Japanese elements through the use of traditional ‘Chouchin’ and “Tsuri Dourou” lamps. Collaborating closely with the interior designer, concepts were also developed for an impressive, oversized abacus, suspended at high level above the main dining space. Working within the existing site conditions, and in collaboration with the Interior Designer, dpa implemented a strategy to provide spotlighting highlights to the dining tables and artworks throughout, with lit emphasis and focus provided at the open show kitchen and the main Sake bar.

A combination of high level, mid-level and low level lighting techniques were used, building up layers of accentuation to create a balanced lit environment. Ambient light levels were kept very low, to enhance the intimacy and theatricality of the space. Through the specification of discreet equipment and integrated detailing, the lit effect takes centre stage, rather than the lighting equipment. At the terrace, accentuation was sparingly provided to the central feature tree, surrounding planting dividers and artworks, ensuring that the main focus is reserved for the spectacular views out.