LW Design was commissioned to create an unexpected contemporary dining experience in the heart of the lobby at the iconic Dubai Edition Hotel in Downtown Dubai. The space boasts impressive interior architecture and a remarkable alfresco terrace with unparalleled views of the Burj Khalifa.
The government imposes strict guidelines to reduce the visibility of alcohol in public spaces throughout the UAE. The complex brief required a detailed translation of the brand requirements to create an extraordinary food and beverage outlet that not only pushed creative boundaries but embraced LW Design’s philosophy of designing to current trends through organic simplicity. Having been established in the region for 20 years, LW Design constantly has their finger on the pulse of Dubai's fast-paced, everchanging food and beverage landscape, and as a result, they are aware of how the dining dynamic has changed over the years. Creating Duomo was a unique experience because of its location within an arrival lobby which is a bold move for the Dubai market.
Duomo, required a conscious design approach to create the perfect balance between respecting local regulations and interpreting brand requirements, whilst providing the exceptional level of detail expected from LW as leading designers. The restaurant's design seamlessly continues from the lobby and is elevated by a few steps providing a grand sense of arrival. The outlet is differentiated by a faux façade and vibrant yellow chesterfield sofas that line the perimeter. The centre is grounded by cosy round banquettes in soft leather creating intimacy even in the middle of the large voluminous space. The clever seating layout affords each diner uninhibited views of the dramatic arched ceiling and the mesmerising artwork curated by Onion Lab in Barcelona. Duomo, an ode to palatial luxury and timeless Italian sophistication in the heart of Dubai captures the essence of people connecting with the energetic buzz it creates.
Various design elements
The arched ceiling is, without question, the showstopper and most photographed feature of the vast lobby and restaurant space. LW Design has intentionally maintained low-level lighting for an intimate yet refined dining experience. A series of images is impressively projected onto the ceiling at night, it creates an ambient yet dynamic display that progresses from abstract patterns to scenes reminiscent of the works of the old masters. The artwork is harmoniously synced to music, creating a truly theatrical dining experience.
The alfresco terrace is densely populated with plants and thoughtfully placed terracotta pots and olive trees to create cosy pockets of seating for diners with a nod to nostalgic Italy and a feeling of timelessness and magic. Diners can enjoy the impressive views of the Burj Khalifa along the, skyline, or they can face the interior dome and observe the various frescoes wax and wane on a journey through imagined Italy.
About the execution
The impressive domed ceiling is finished with acoustic plaster to mitigate any echoing.. The plaster application was completed twice to ensure the correct acoustic properties. The contrasting timber band breaks the line of perspective and gives the illusion of a lower, ergonomically comfortable space for the human eye. Guests will still enjoy the overall vastness of the entire space whilst feeling cosy in the area in which they sit.
About the ambience
The terrace is lit with candles and discreet lights in planters creating a warm cocoon in the magical garden escape in the heart of Dubai's urban landscape. The lighting details are designed by Isometrix, London, to allow for a sublime dining experience. Subtle lights illuminate the arched ceiling during the day and are switched off when the projection artwork starts at 7 pm.
Projector and acoustic ceiling.
Acoustic plaster for the ceiling, solid oak timber flooring and matching oak veneer on the walls. Vein-matched travertine.
All furniture is handcrafted locally with the highest quality materials and attention to detail. The statuario marble tops have metal bases that add refined elegance to the neutral palette. Vibrant yellow chesterfield sofas line the restaurant's walls to create a sense of theatre. Vincent Shepherd chairs on the terrace.
Contractor: Bhatia Contracting & JC Mclean
Designers: Pooja Shah-Mulani, LW Design