Ritz-Carlton Astana, Kazakhstan

March 5, 2018

Based in the exclusive Talan Towers, a high-end, mixed-use development in the capital of Kazakhstan, Nulty recently completed work on Selfie and MOKKI, two restaurants located in  the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Astana.

Situated on the left bank of Astana, in the heart of the business district, forming the background of the main square, the Talan Towers have become an iconic landmark for the city, setting a new hospitality benchmark and providing a world-class destination for business and leisure. Working alongside UK-based design studio Blacksheep, lighting design practice Nulty has created two individual lighting design concepts: one for the all-day dining destination, Mokki and the other for the exclusive sky bar, Selfie.

“We worked on this project for three, almost four years,” Nulty’s Associate Lighting Designer, Anna Sandgren, tells darc. “Our clients were the property developers and were very much involved. With the brief being quite strict; Ritz Carlton know what they want and what defines their brand so it was very much tailored to them, hospitality areas use light in a very different way. We created a bright and welcoming space within MOKKI, highlighting surfaces and playing with textures and finishes, whereas the Selfie bar and restaurant needed a scheme that created mood and drama adding to the exclusivity of the space.” The final result is a warm, luxurious, high-end restaurant and sky bar boasting stunning views of the  Astana skyline.

All-day restaurant MOKKI is located on the third floor of the luxury development and features a large open space encompassing different zones such as a bakery, deli and grill. The bakery space is adorned with gold Italian marble with brass inlay details and a bronze mirror front façade perfectly complementing the theatrical charcoal-burning grill visible from the hotel’s entrance. The elevated main dining area at the heart of MOKKI is characterised by a curved timber dropped ceiling in millennial pink illuminated by track-mounted spotlights, positioned within the soffit above, which allows the light to graze through the timber fins creating movement and intrigue whilst highlighting key areas of the restaurant and providing a striking focal point. A feature wall wraps the perimeter of the space with carefully positioned LED lights integrated behind, washing light up to create a subtle perimeter horizon. Low-level lighting has been added to the shelves within the bakery and deli, with integrated LED’s in the joinery to illuminate the produce. Complementing the clean architecture of the various spaces, a brass through trough is incorporated into the ceiling to form a grid system, allowing a consistent design aesthetic to flow throughout. Surface mounted spotlights are nestled within the trough to provide general illumination, whilst suspended brass rails allow beams of soft light to graze the marble counters below.

The exclusive Selfie bar and restaurant is located on the 18th floor of the tower, where the space boasts spectacular panoramic views of the city’s skyline, framed by floor-to-ceiling windows. The extraordinary ambience is created through a rich palette of jet-black marble, mahogany wood, velvet and copper, which continues throughout the space. The dark interior design is lifted by high ceilings that feature deep recessed downlights to provide an intriguing dining space. The lighting is purposely refined throughout to encourage intimacy and emphasise the breath-taking views.

The back of the restaurant features a slate marble wall installation trimmed with copper edges and illuminated by integrated LED’s to pick up the texture in the interior and provide additional depth to the space. Mahogany wood columns punctuate the external wall of the restaurant and have been washed with light from above to highlight the rich material palette while decorative copper pendants are suspended throughout the dining space to create additional drama and contrast, while exuding a warm intimate glow for guest sitting below. The bar has been backlit by illuminated light sheets to create a stunning backdrop that picks up the glint in the wine bottles and provides a visually exciting display.

The result of this thoughtful and measured design is two distinct spaces with two different personalities, Mokki serves the daytime guests and the casual evening diner while Selfie with its exclusive, members only feel and stunning backdrop, draws in the night crowd.