Only its second venue to open in the UK, Yauatcha, a contemporary dim sum teahouse from the Hakassan Group, is situated within a unique semi-circular restaurant overlooking Broadgate Circle in the City of London.
In collaboration with Hakassan, Paul Nulty Lighting Design (PNLD) worked alongside architectural firm Gensler and interior design company GBRH to create a dramatic lighting design concept that is consistent with the brand’s identity and also adapted to the unique space and physical needs of the new restaurant and retail unit.
Set over two floors, PNLD has designed a lighting scheme that complements the darkness of the interior design. The lighting entices customers upstairs by incorporating the brand’s signature blue colour within an illuminated glass balustrade and integrated staircase lighting from MJ Lighting that leads from the ground floor entrance to the first floor restaurant.
To draw visitor’s attention upwards, sparkling fibre optic lighting from Linealight is used to create a starry theatrical ceiling while cladded geometric lattice panels are illuminated with in-ground recessed uplights from LightGraphix, bringing texture and depth to the space.
Upon entry, guests are greeted by three large white bespoke silk pendants from Metro that hang above the concierge desk, forming a focal point and an illuminating glow.
Moving up the staircase, the reception on the first floor features the same soft blue back lighting from MJ Lighting within key brand elements such as the fish tank and the first of many orange columns that are downlit by Soraa lamps to punctuate the space and provide rhythm. LED Light Sheet from Applelec has also been used to showcase a large pastry display, which runs alongside the reception area.
The lighting levels in the restaurant are designed to be low, with contrast ratios high to create a dramatic environment throughout the space.
Simplicity is key to the design throughout, with architectural details housing discrete lighting such as integrated luminaires within joinery. Using this technique, PNLD was able to pick up and highlight brand elements within the interior, such as small brass crosses from Metro integrated within the brick walls, which house LED candles from Electric Candle Company, creating a warm illuminating ambience for an intimate dining experience.
Further decorative elements include clusters of bespoke bone white china pendants from Ceramics by Design, hanging throughout the restaurant to provide intimacy and define the sleek style of the space.
The two bar areas continue to use the brand’s signature cove lighting above, whilst providing additional drama through the use of a rear illuminated corian bar-top again using LED Light Sheet from Applelec.
Claire Hamill, intermediate lighting designer at PNLD, said: “Throughout this project it was important for us to focus on key characteristic lighting design elements that make the brand recognisable whilst creating an atmosphere that is inviting and dramatic.”
Two large terraces run alongside either end of the restaurant, with soft uplighting from Mike Stoane Lighting used on neutral stone columns to define the space. In addition, low level lighting used under planters around the edges form a halo of light, framing views of the city and adding a softness to the outside space.
The new Yauatcha Patisserie on the ground floor, selling tea and desserts, continues with the brand’s distinct blue backlighting and features soft downlights from Lucent to bring focus on the products for sale but still keeps the same ambience and charm as the restaurant upstairs.
PNLD has provided a lighting scheme that is both detailed and modest, whilst creating a mood suited to restaurant Yauatcha’s dining experience.