Anatolian Dream by darc magazine

Located within the Grosvenor House Hotel and overlooking Dubai’s exquisite Marina, Rüya is an Antatolian themed restaurant and bar where traditional cuisine meets contemporary design.

The brainchild of Turkish restaurateur Umet Ozkanca, Rüya is an enticing concept that fuses a vibrant restaurant, lounge and bar and explores the rich history and diversity of Anatolian food. The project was backed by d.ream (Dogus Restaurant Entertainment and management Group) with plans to expand the concept worldwide, drawing attention to the region’s incredible cuisine.

Arranged across nearly 800sqm, the restaurant can be accessed from street level or the Grosvenor House Hotel. The venue has a capacity for around 230 guests with a mixture of indoor dining areas including a bar, lounge, private dining and an external terrace offering stunning views of the marina.

into lighting design practice was appointed by d.ream to work alongside interior designers Conran and Partners to realise the lighting aspect of the client’s brief for a glamorous, vibrant and contemporary restaurant and bar, showcasing the rich heritage of Anatolian and Turkish cuisine with a modern styling for a contemporary international audience.

Tina Norden, Director of Conran and Partners, tells darc: “The design seeks to draw upon elements of Turkish history and the meeting of Eastern and Western cultural influences from the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires to the present day, reinterpreting them in the materials, patterns, textures and colours we have used.”

Guests are greeted on entrance by a freestanding hexagonal shaped bread oven overhung by a striking installation of suspended rolling pins, illuminated using linear LED profiles with diffuser to provide subtle light; while miniature recessed LED fixtures shine through the feature to cast shadows of the pins on the façades of the oven.

Over-scaled, gold lined Skylume domes are suspended within an illuminated ceiling coffer in the dining area, housing bespoke chandeliers, designed by Conran and Partners. Consisting of metal rods with filament lamps, the chandeliers give off a warm amber glow against the gold backdrop of the lined domes, anchoring the spaces and defining the central banquette areas.

“The central tables in the restaurant are usually the least popular so we wanted to create a special moment for the guests sitting below these amazing structures, it was important to us that the domes made a big impact on the space,” explains Chris Thornley of Conran and Partners.

All dining tables are lit overhead using light fittings with a deep-set lamp and narrow beam halogen light sources, which control the light onto the table while minimising glare. Several of the walls and columns are highlighted with the use of floor recessed narrow beam LED uplight fixtures, whilst a linear LED is concealed above the bespoke 3D tiles to illuminate the wall and give the tiles a floating feel on the façades.

The open kitchen area, where guests can watch their food being prepared is illuminated with recessed halogen downlights, which provide high colour rendering properties and a controlled beam, illuminating the task areas whilst controlling any light spill into the restaurant.

The main feature of the bar area is the large ice machine suspended from the ceiling and illuminated with miniature LED downlights to highlight the metallic finish. Moving outside, the external terrace area is lit by bespoke pendants, which give the exterior space a warm, intimate feeling. A linear LED festoon system and recessed LED uplights illuminate the living wall providing functional and key focal point illumination.
The control of the lighting was a careful consideration for into, ensuring smooth and low level dimming within the various scenes from day to night.

“All LED lighting throughout the project is a very warm 2,200K-colour temperature to provide a warm ambience and is controlled using a DALI protocol to allow for smooth dimming to a low level,” Darren Orrow, Director of into explains.

Lighting has been successfully integrated into the venue where possible, so as not to detract from the finishes and materials within the space itself. into and Conran and Partners have achieved a theatrical lighting scheme, reflecting the quality and authenticity of the food whilst creating a warm and relaxed ambience for the venue.


Norden concludes: “Our design is an interpretation of the high value which Anatolian culture places on nurturing a direct relationship between host and guest in a setting that is warm and generous.”

Find out more here

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