Robinsons,
Dubai

Daylight / Featured Project / Retail

The Robinsons story began on 25th February 1858, when John Spicer and Philip Robinson founded Spicer and Robinson in Singapore. Since then, Robinsons pioneering spirit has kept them at the forefront of Asian retail and since 2008, Al-Futtaim Retail Group has been successful in operating Robinsons Department store in Singapore resulting in it becoming the best performing store in South-East Asia. Now open at Dubai Festival City, the first Robinsons store of inspiration in the Middle East is the largest department store in the region, on 200,000 sqft.

Robinsons offers over three magnificent floors of contemporary and designer fashion, food, art and culture experiences, making each visit more enchanting than the last. With a nod to the Singaporean green elements, featuring vertical garden walls by designer Patrick Blanc, through over 90 exclusive brands to a number of multi-tiered premium services, guest delight in an immersive journey  both in-store and online.

The three floors are positioned around a main central day-lit atrium and also a smaller secondary day-lit atrium. At the initial briefing stage the client placed great importance on the quality and effectiveness of the lighting in terms of creating a contemporary ambiance and high quality flexible accent display lighting to light the merchandise well. The client was so interested in this that special mock-ups were carried out on site to verify the key design elements.

dpa lighting consultants worked closely with HMKM and Al-Futtaim’s in-house team to develop high quality but energy efficient lighting solutions both from the ceilings, and also to a large degree integrated into the display furniture. Over one hundred different lighting details were developed for the display furniture lighting across the whole store. Almost all sources (other than for the living wall) were high quality LED and as the ceilings were typically over 4 metres high the ceiling display and ambient lighting was very carefully considered. Adjustability was built into all the ceiling light fixtures whilst at all times keeping a discreet and contemporary appearance.

The store has a number of distinct departments, many with their own character and unique feature elements including lighting features. Nevertheless there is a very good visual consistency and flow through the store to provide a pleasant journey for the customer. The result of the overall design is a contemporary shopping environment where lighting is very well integrated and flexible to provide a three dimensional and balanced lit appearance to the customer. There are some further layers of flexibility in lighting approaches and light levels, for example the evening wear, lingerie and VIP areas have a softer, warmer, even more discreet lighting solutions compared to the more open plan areas.

The scope of the lighting commission also included external façade lighting and the general approach was to wash the façades and green walls with discreet but powerful LED fixtures, or integrate concealed luminaires into the façade detailing.

Client: Al-Futtaim Retail Group
Interior Designer: HMKM
Photography: Courtesy of Robinsons Middle-East