Welcome to the best city on earth for restaurants. Hong Kong is the world’s top culinary destination, according to the US food bible Saveur, and among its latest additions are two high-end Spanish-themed venues at The One, the city’s tallest retail complex.
Owned by local actress Carina Lau, with interiors by award-winning designer Ira Imerlishvili, the Tapagria tapas bar and Zurriola restaurant are two of the most beautiful places to eat in Hong Kong. With lighting schemes devised by Firefly Lighting Design using LED lamps from Megaman, the venues are also proof that LEDs can create top-quality lit effects in high-end hospitality settings.
Situated on the eighteenth floor of The One, the two venues feature floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular views of the harbour, and a key selling point for Tapagria is its wrap-around outdoor terrace offering a 270-degree panorama.
The lighting, designed by Peter Veale and the team at Firefly Lighting Design, has created a distinctive atmosphere for each space. Tapagria is all about curves and contrasts, while Zurriola has a more traditional vibe, with a full-height wine rack lit from the inside as its centrepiece. By using LED lighting, the restaurants will save a total of £4,000 ($5,800) a year on electricity bills, compared to traditional equivalents.
With a huge tapas menu and 65 types of sangria, Tapagria is a dining destination during the week and a nightclub at the weekend. The warm lighting, wooden interiors and curved walls contribute to an intimate atmosphere. Owen Zuan, senior designer at Firefly, told Lux: 'The interior designer really wanted to capture the Spanish elements found in a tapas bar. The lighting also enhanced the nightclub feel for weekend nights.'
The bar is floored with typical Spanish mosaic, while dining chairs and bar stools are inspired by the legendary Catalan architect Gaudi. LED AR11 lamps are used to create an animated illusion of moving water on a dramatic feature wall, similar to the effect seen in Hakkasan, the upmarket global chain of Cantonese restaurants. High-contrast light effects accentuate the tables, columns and stairs.
The restaurant managed to impress Hong Kong Tatler, who praised the food, the atmosphere and the view, concluding that Tapagria is 'definitely worth the trip'.
The Zurriola restaurant has a more opulent, traditional and somewhat more formal feel than its sister establishment next door. It is dominated by large artworks that give a flavour of Barcelona, sweeping curtains and, at the centre of it all, the stunning full-height wine rack.
Firefly decided to use light to bring the wine display to life. They used LED AR111 lamps to light it, and 28° and 36° narrow-beam LED reflector lamps to highlight the bottle labels. The result is a sophisticated scheme that creates visual impact without creating glare.
'The interior designer really wanted to give these two restaurants a magnificent atmosphere in the competitive market of Hong Kong,' says Zuan. “We used all LEDs throughout these two restaurants. We found Megaman lamps were able to create the atmosphere we want.”
Concealed lines of light along the window blinds in both restaurants create a unified look, and the colour temperature is consistent, because only two types of light source were used throughout.
We wanted to creat a magnificant atmosphere using lighting
The restaurants have achieved international recognition for their design, making their way on to the shortlists for the Lighting Design Awards and the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards in 2014.
Ciaran Kiely, international project marketing manager at Neonlite International, the company behind Megaman, said: “We were delighted to work with Owen and the team at Firefly on The One project. Restaurants are challenging – you have to create mood and atmosphere, combined with energy savings, long life and low maintenance. LEDs now are there. There’s no real reason to use halogen anymore.”
LEDs now are there. There’s no real reason to use halogen anymore.'
Keily says: “In hospitality it’s about creating atmosphere, but also about your own sense of wellbeing. If you look good under the lighting, if you feel healthier, happier, then you stay longer, you have a better experience, you spend more. And we can do that now with good colour rendition and good colour temperatures. So it’s great for the hospitality sector.”
The patented “heat drain” design of Megaman’s AR111 and MR16 LED reflectors makes them ideal for use in places with long operating hours. They can also be incorporated into a lighting control system for balancing artificial and natural light, and can create a variety of pre-programmed scenes.
The two venues demonstrate how great LED lighting can maximise drama, while minimising maintenance and energy costs.
Watch Lux’s exclusive video report from Tapagria and Zurriola:
- A special session on restaurant and hospitality lighting takes place at the LuxLive Middle East 2016 exhibition and conference at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre on Wednesday 13 April and Thursday 14 April. Entry is free if you register. View the full programme and register HERE.