Tapas bar – Kempinski Mall of the Emirates | Dubai, UAE

Architect: Sandra Tarruella Interioristas
Contractors: AMBB
Location: Dubai, UAE

The lighting scheme designed for “Tapas Bar”, was aimed to create a space that causes emotions, looking forward, but taking treasured elements from the Spanish tradition. Our approach was to select key materials, textures and objects that transmit the essence of the culture and enhance them with light, to strengthen and enrich their character and therefore the identity of the bar.

The most dramatic lighting elements are the basket features which are a reference to the market culture and fresh products of Spain. These are reinterpreted as lit sculptures, appearing as lattice pendant lamps that filter and reflect light. Suspended from the ceiling at different heights and lit with concealed LED strips that graze their inner surfaces, these become glowing magical features of the space, which give a warm general glow.

Inspired by the “colmado”, which is a typical way of displaying products of traditional Spanish shops, in a very honest, colorful and charming way, the lit shelves become the background of one side of the bar. Our approach to light these shelves was to enhance the products by front lighting them with concealed linear sources hidden within the metal structure. The background of the other walls of the bar is given by lit artwalls where contemporary abstract images have been directly painted on the wall.

The central bar is the first attraction to customers when entering the venue and is it the unquestionable centrepiece. This is the place that attracts people, being an extension and a show kitchen, where the preparation of cold plates and paella is done. The lighting at the bar comes from projectors concealed between the baskets, mounted on a track which provide accent light to the plates served at the bar. The suspended glass shelf above the bar has been edge lit to give the bottles an inner glow effect.

At the dining area, each table is lit by very narrow beam projectors, hidden between the baskets. The accent lighting provides a contrast to the general lighting and enhances the colour of the food served, creating a very intimate and cozy feeling forthe guests.

It was decided to use 2700 K LED sources as the colour temperature for all the bar, to create a warm and inviting Spanish atmosphere. All the sources were to be LED as per the requirements of the client. The creation of different moods for lunchtime, afternoon and evening were crucial for the operator, as well as the versatility of the track mounted LED projectors that could adapt to different array of the tables and special event such as Flamenco shows which take place weekly at the bar.