Dauphine Media Café, Amsterdam

The old Renault works has been long established as a landmark building and now enjoys a new life as innovative office space encompassing the new Café Restaurant Dauphine, which has instantly become a huge hit in the city. The restaurant design takes a strong lead from the existing architecture respecting the elegant columns and glazing structure whilst providing all the interest, variation, life and intimacy that a restaurant needs.

The restaurant operates throughout the day and night and the magnificent double height glazing provides dramatic views from the outside to within and from the inside out. The daylight when available is refreshing and has the normal natural dynamism of the sky, which can be enjoyed by diners. The lighting forms an important part of the interior, emphasising the volumes, creating a touch of theatre and providing intimacy at a human scale where appropriate.

Overall ambient light is provided by large modular fixtures with a series of dimmable fluorescent lamps and an integrated downlight to punch light through the space and create modelling. Low level lighting is integrated around the tables with lighting under floating elements, table lights and pendants in a variety of styles generating visual interest and lighting at different planes within the space. Track and spots highlight the innovative graphics and provide further theatre.

The striking two storey wine display is back lit creating an exciting vertical element behind the servery and through onto the balcony above. The elegant columns are uplit from recessed fixtures in the floor. Other touches include light leading from behind banquette seating, integrated in graphics panels and floating elements within the servery and bar counters.

The control system ensures appropriate variety for day and night, balancing the various lighting components in different groups to suit the various volumes.