Four Seasons Hotel, Cotto Crudo Restaurant, Prague, Czech Republic

The Four Seasons Hotel is one of Prague’s most exclusive hotels and has the only Michelin-star restaurant in the city. When the hotel felt it was time to refurbish and relaunch the restaurant with a new name and interior, dpa were approached to design the lighting.

The Bar and Restaurant are bright and airy by day, with views of Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge. In the evening, the lighting helps create an intimate dining experience within the restaurant. The Bar uses lighting to highlight decorative materials and interior details. Carefully selected artwork lighting, well-integrated lighting within furniture details, and candles on tables combine to create a vibrant and sophisticated night time destination.


The Perfectionists’ Café,
T2 London Heathrow Airport, UK

The Perfectionists’ Café draws on the vernacular and ambience of the 60’s “heyday” of passenger flights when air travel was deemed glamorous. The interior style, finishes, and lighting echo this. Lighting was a key component to the success of the restaurant at the briefing stage with the lighting design requirements to consider the huge competition within the terminal, the ‘show kitchen & bar’ and the Ice Cream Parlour which were the backdrop to the theatre that was to be The Perfectionists café. Energy requirements were very strict as dictated by Heathrow and the usage throughout the day and night with the extreme daylight and artificial terminal lighting throughout the day and nights were an added challenge.

Working closely with interior designers Afroditi Krassa Studio, dpa’s design integrates and complements the unique and vibrant interior spaces to enhance the rich materials with a mixture of subtle brushes of light coupled with more dramatic accents to further enhance points of interest throughout the restaurant.

Our role was also to review, coordinate and suggest any additional decorative lighting and to provide the wow factor with lighting.

Design Approach & Challenges

The overall impression of the restaurant and, in particular, its elevation is the ‘band of interest and activity’ from the buzzy bar area at the entry point to the other side of the restaurant where the pace is more relaxed. dpa provided design solutions for the floating facia, backlit lettering and accent lighting to the feature mechanical clockwork knife which sparkles like an expensive Swiss timepiece.

The bar and café counter stretches seamlessly lifting the layers of interior materials with light. The displays to the rear are the main focal point with lighting integrated within ceiling details to minimise view of lighting equipment. This provides accent lighting to food displays, interior objects, and materials of interest such as the wood oven, bar, café and Ice cream parlour.

Interactive ‘triggers’ were designed into the scheme with Controlled Lighting Ltd to provide an extra touch of ‘theatre’ and interaction. For example, the bread oven is spot lit at the opening and recedes to the back when in use. Also, the bar cocktail area receives a similar accent when in use as does the nitrogen station for the ice-cream machines with colour changing lighting being activated when the nitrogen vapour pours from the bowls.

Individual table lights and floor lights to seating areas were introduced to the areas where ceilings were not possible to provide intimacy and a human scale to what is still a large terminal building and vibrant artwork provides a backdrop to the banquette seating areas.

All lighting utilises LED’s including the decorative pendants, table and floor lights.

A lighting control system provides the necessary variable lighting scenes to provide appropriate day and intimate and moody night scenes.

Client and Operator: The Fat Duck Group
Architect: Offset Architects
Interior Designer: Afroditi Krassa Studio
M&E Consultant: B.E.S Ltd

Photography courtesy of Sim Canetty-Clarke


The Summit Club Revolving Restaurant, Hotel Kunlun, Beijing, China

This is a recent refurbishment of an existing restaurant located on the 29th Floor of Beijing’s Kunlun Hotel.

The Summit Club is the only revolving restaurant and lounge in the Central Business District, where guests can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding area as they dine. The interior of the restaurant is characterised by large-scale silk pendant shades internally lit with warm white and UV blue lamps. The lampshades slowly cross-fade between the alternate colours as part of a pre-set lighting sequence. The restaurant has teppanyaki style show kitchens around the central core with back-lit decorative glass screens and backlit glass cladding to the cooker hoods above the teppans.

One of the challenges of the project was providing power to the accent lighting integrated into the freestanding screens located on the revolving floor. Our solution was to utilise large rechargeable batteries to power the LED light sources, which are periodically recharged by the hotel staff.


Toro Toro, Grosvenor House, Dubai, UAE

The Grosvenor House in Dubai is already well established as an excellent hotel together with its iconic Buddha Bar. Grosvenor House Tower Two was completed in 2011. dpa lighting consultants worked closely with LW Design on the Embassy Club, Siddharta Lounge by Buddha Bar and Toro Toro. The hotel states it is “Poised to turn up the heat considerably in the city’s already famed dining scene, it pioneers tastes from Buenos Aires to São Paulo and offers a multitude of Pan Latin dining experiences paired with an infinite Cachaça Bar”.

The multi-layered lighting provides an appropriately evocative atmosphere for such an important restaurant. The circular coffers in a burnt orange are illuminated with concealed light, the backlit stone walls create a striking feature, pendants over key tables offer intimacy, features are high-lit with adjustable spotlights, etc. Every element on the interior has had the lighting carefully considered to reveal surprises throughout the restaurant complex, which is spread out over two levels. As ever, decorative lights and candles are as important as any other lighting device to create the ambience.

As with almost all dpa projects, the control of the lighting is activated by a scene-set system that has pre-determined lighting scenarios.

The Luggage Room at the Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, London, UK

The Luggage Room at the Marriott Grosvenor Square draws on the vernacular and ambience of the 20’s intimate cocktail bar with sumptuous luxury in every detail of the interior and furniture design.

Working closely with interior designers Fabled Studio, dpa’s design challenge was to integrate and complement the elegant interior spaces and enhance the rich materials with a mixture of subtle brushes of light coupled with more dramatic accents to further enhance points of interest.

Key elements include displays that sparkle with depth, quality, contrast and elegance, uplighting to feature window screens, and accent to artwork and curiosities of a bygone era. Concealed lighting to the bar exposes delicate yet robust detailing echoing traditional steam age luggage and fine liquors and wines glow with concealed lighting in the bar, liquor cabinets and wine displays which all add to the overall character of the space.

Bespoke decorative lighting designed by Fabled Studio provide a signature to the lighting ambience while dark reflective surfaces catch glimmers of light.

An architectural lighting control system provides the necessary variable lighting scenes to provide appropriate day and intimate and moody night scenes for the late night in-crowd.

Theo Randall at The InterContinental Hotel, London, UK

The Intercontinental Hotel in Park Lane has undergone an extensive refurbishment to the public areas and rooms. As part of the refurbishment is the destination restaurant “Theo Randall at The InterContinental”. The entrance is a glowing corridor welcoming guests through to its intimate interior. Lighting is used here to provide backlighting to various materials and accent tables, objects, and art. The key to the lighting success here is the ability to control each lighting component and provide focal points within the interior. Lighting has been used to backlight the bar top and back bar display. The feature columns with grass motif are backlit to provide an ambience to the central area of seating while the tables are spotlit and as with all of the other lighting are dimmable to provide appropriate ambience through the day and night.

Client: Intercontinental Hotels
Interior Designer: J2 Design
Project Manager: Fitzsimons

Silk Road Restaurant, Crystal Symphony Cruise Ship

Crystal Cruises are a very special Cruise organisation providing the highest quality of environment, service, and itinerary to their guests. Both their ships now have a restaurant that provides a sushi bar and food by the famous restaurateur Nobu Matsuhisa.

dpa lighting consultants worked closely with the client representative Alexandra Don and Interior Designer Adfecto to produce a very special environment. The lighting was carefully designed to ensure the theatre of the sushi bar could be enjoyed alongside an intimate dining atmosphere at the table.

A combination of decorative ambient fixtures, narrow beam spotlights to the tables, and the highlighting of various other features around the space, linked to a scene set control system, ensure the atmosphere is just perfect to complement the food.

Client: Crystal Cruises International
ID: AD Associates


Serre Restaurant, Okura Hotel, Amsterdam

The Okura Hotel, Amsterdam has recently undergone renovation of the main Serre Restaurant and Bar and Function Suites including Grand Ballroom.

dpa worked with interior designers RPW from London to create a stunning and appropriate destination restaurant and terrace beside a buzzing canal in the heart of Amsterdam. The lobby bar complements the new restaurant with dark tones and appropriate lighting to provide a dramatic interior using layers of lighting from concealed linear lighting, to low level bar and seating and pin spots to tables and decorative screens. The restaurant was a particular challenge with a crystal clear conservatory providing views onto the restaurant terrace which, comes to life at night with concealed dramatic lighting from linear planter up lighting, tree up lighting and delicate and magical copper lanterns in the feature trees.

The Function Suites and Ballroom have had a contemporary facelift to freshen and energise the spaces. Artwork and contrasting materials are accented, along with a review of the energy issues by utilising low energy light sources. The ballroom has received a huge transformation with colour change LED coffer lighting and a magnificent feature lighting artwork of tree crowns symbolising the trees to the landscape. The lighting is concealed behind the ‘tree crowns’ suggesting the glow from a moonlit night through trees and is complemented with dappled light to the face of the trees from gobo projectors carefully recessed into the ceiling.



Manns Wines, Wine Cellar Renovation, Nagano, Japan

Manns Wines treats their special guests to fantastic dishes at their Private Dining Room and Cellar which was designed by Interior Designers – Design Eight.

dpa’s scope of work consisted of the Wine Cellar, the Tasting Room, and the Dining Room. All of these facilities are located underground in the garden next to the winery and close to the vineyards so artificial lighting was an extremely important component to the interior spaces.

In the cellar wine bottles are displayed on shelves with concealed linear LED. Refraction of the light from the wine bottles and their contents creates a beautiful glowing ambience with the wine becoming luminous. Table stand decorative lights form a line along the wall producing a relaxing atmosphere and softening the overall ambience this also leads guests into the tasting room.

Original wine racks have been reused to create a display wall in the tasting room, with light emanating from beneath to create a graphic dot pattern on the wall.

As always the lighting control is an essential part of the proposal with each different lighting element separately circuited and dimmed to allow a variety of lighting scenes to be created.

Photography courtesy of Joshua Lieberman

Interior Designer: Design Eight

Mandarin Oriental, Prague, Czech Republic

The majority of the photography for this project is courtesy of:
Mandarin Oriental / George Apostolidis

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel is located within the Mala Strana historic quarter of bohemian Prague. The project consisted of the refurbishment of a disused Baroque style building, which started life as a monastery before ending life as a print works for the local government.

As lighting consultants we worked closely with the Interior Designer and the National Heritage Authority (NPU) to ensure a design which, while sympathetic to the architecture of the building, responded to the needs of the hotel’s guests and operator.

NPU placed stringent requirements on the locations and appearance of luminaires within the historic areas of the hotel, which resulted in the bespoke design of three different luminaires.

Within the restaurant it was only permitted to mount luminaires on the wall, a luminaire was therefore designed that had three individually controllable light sources, providing a low-level wash of light to the floor, an uplight component revealing the structure of the low vaulted ceiling while also providing ambient light to the space and a decorative element for visual interest.

In the Monastery Lounge and Ballroom, the solution was to create a luminaire of stone appearance, concealing three different light sources all individually controllable. Allowing a general ambient illumination to be achieved while revealing the columns and vault with a concealed up and downlight. Luminaires were also concealed in the reconstructed column cornices providing additional uplight to the vaulted ceiling. Within the Ballroom, a number of chandeliers, constructed from local bohemian crystal, were hung from the central point of each vault.

Scene setting of the lighting is utilised to lower energy usage and to set the mood of each individual space appropriate to the time of day or function. One area where the controls were especially important was the bar whose focal point is a backlit glass bottle display. The colour of the lighting has been carefully chosen to suit the mood and time of day, varying from a bright invigorating sky blue in the morning through to a deep saturated red for late night drinking.

Client: Finartis Financial SA
Operator: Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
Project Manager: Bovis Lend Lease
Interior Design: Sporer Plus
Concept Interior Design: KCA International
Spa Interior Design: Deckelmann Wellness
Photography: Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.



The Landau Restaurant, London, UK

The Langham Hotel, London is home to the Landau Restaurant along with the Artesian Bar. The dramatic interior design combines modern orientalism with the romance of Victoriana. The interior and exterior entrance spaces are enhanced by a thoughtful and considered design, with lighting complementing and accentuating these features.

dpa’s challenge was to bring out the best in the interior features with lighting and integrate this seamlessly and as anonymously into the fabric of the interior.

Key interior elements are accent lit to provide drama to the spaces while soft washes of light gently bring the interior surfaces to life.

The external entrance is understated yet strong in character with shielded lighting to steps and planters, again, exposing the materials and surfaces, while a backlit traditional canopy formalises the entrance.

The maître d’ area is kept simple to provide focus through to the feature wine displays within the vaulted corridor, which is softly uplit to express the vaults.

The restaurant perimeter is accented with uplighting to windows and sheers to reduce the awareness of the busy street beyond as well as to respond to the feature interior elements. Contrast and theatre is achieved by only lighting interior elements of significant visual interest. Tables are spot lit to further provide both drama and intimacy. Art objects are illuminated to add interest to the perimeter views along with the feature banquette seating lights, which are designed by the interior designer. These are further complemented by feature interior designer selection chandeliers within a lit ceiling coffer. Simple, recessed trimless downlights are used sparingly to light artwork to the perimeter walls.

The service areas have also been given care and attention to the lighting, ensuring that the lighting to this area is controlled separately from the main restaurant lighting, so that this can be balanced appropriately through the day and night scenes to maintain a harmonious lighting level between the respective guest and staff areas.

In addition to the interior lighting, careful consideration was taken to select external lighting to the window reveals to complement the interior views out and to further reduce the awareness of the busy street beyond.

Lighting control was used as an essential tool to provide versatility for the hotel for various settings through the day and night and to allow mood and ambience to be achieved, which is particularly important for evening dining.

Client: Langham Hotels
Operator: Langham Hospitality Group
Project Manager: Fitzsimons
Architect: Formation Architects
Interior Designer: David Collins Studio (Artisian Bar and The Landau Restaurant)
M&E Consultant: Mitie Engineering

Mosaic – Phoenicia InterContinental, Beirut

Mosaic is a recently refurbished All Day Dining Restaurant in Lebanon’s foremost hotel, the 5* Phoenicia InterContinental, Beirut.

The restaurant offers an ever-changing variety of International and Oriental buffets, daily live cooking stations and generous displays of the very best regional cuisine.

Interior Designers LWD have created a contemporary and elegant dining destination with an oriental and arabesque inspired ambience.

dpa worked closely with the designers to create a lighting design that is sympathetic to the interiors and that emphasises the intricate features and rich textures. Special attention was made to the play of light and shadow through decorative screens and chandeliers. Also special emphasis was required for highlighting the collection of artwork including the 5senses feature wall display.

The restaurant’s mood and atmosphere can be altered from vibrant through to romantic via pre-set lighting scenes to suit the time of day and occasion.


Embassy Club, Grosvenor House, Dubai, UAE

The acclaimed Embassy Dubai is the latest edition of the legendary London Venue that has rapidly become one of the most chic hotspots in town. Situated on three floors at the top of the new Grosvenor House Hotel Tower 2, the venue dubbed as a supper and members club has spectacular 360º views of the Dubai Marina and Arabian Gulf and is a regular haunt of celebrities and the Dubai elite.

In collaboration with renowned interior designers, LW Design Group, dpa helped to create a lighting design befitting of the club’s clientele and pedigree. From the glitter and sparkle of artwork display cases to the intimate and stylish private rooms, the rich variety of materials and finishes are accentuated with light to reinforce the luxurious and fashionable interiors. Upon arriving to the club in the exclusive elevator, the journey of light and texture is followed through to every space and detail, with deliberate varying atmospheres and ambience for the dining, dancing, social, and private areas. The lighting techniques used are designed not to overpower the interiors in their own right, but to provide contrast and excitement in an environment where you want to be and be seen.


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.


The Buddha Bar, Dubai, UAE

dpa lighting consultants provided illumination advice for the interior lighting of the themed Buddha Bar / Restaurant.

Carefully concealed light sources graze across rich fabrics exposing their texture and form and enhancing each area. The Buddha Bar has a major central space with incredible chandeliers floating in the volume that are appreciated from two levels. The surrounding areas provide a variety of intimate spaces where people can relax. One of the great joys is the multitude of locations where you can choose to linger and enjoy the resulting variety of views. The lighting chooses carefully the elements that the eye sees from each position.

The Bar itself is vibrant but understated with illumination gently enhancing the theatre behind. All the lighting is controlled on a pre-set system to provide exactly the right ambience in each and every location.

Using light of the correct intensity, direction and distribution ensures that the spatial hierarchy created by the Interior Designers is maintained and reinforced during the hours of darkness. Warm, low voltage tungsten halogen light sources provide excellent rendering of the rich textures and colours of the suspended fabrics within the restaurant.

Narrow beam downlights located between suspended fabric panels serve two purposes – illumination to the fabric themselves together with focused lighting to seating areas and tables. Wall lights and artwork lighting maintain visual interest to the periphery by providing a degree of contrast.

Within the Dining Area, close offset lighting reveals the texture of the stone wall behind the bar area. Uniformity has been deliberately avoided so that the eye is gently drawn to individual points or areas of interest.

The lighting of the dining areas was designed so as to ensure that the correct balance was achieved between the illumination of tables (and the food to be consumed) and the other surfaces forming the boundaries of the space. In the Buddha Bar/Restaurant, the richly coloured materials and objects respond to light whilst the dark wall surfaces provide a counterbalance. In situations like these, less light often means “more”.


Amaya Restaurant, London, UK

Masala World Ltd, who own several Indian restaurants such as Chutney Mary, Veeraswamy, and Masala Zone approached dpa to design the interior and exterior lighting to Masala World’s most notable restaurant to date. The name Amaya means without boundaries, which is intended to be reflected in the cuisine whose influences are gathered throughout the length and breadth of India.

The main emphasis of the restaurant is the open show kitchen to the far end. The brief was to make this the jewel of the restaurant, where theatre would take place from the chef’s various tandoor ovens, grills, fresh seafood and vegetable displays, and wonderful backlit oil wall display as a backdrop to the kitchen.

The challenge for dpa was to adopt a broad thinking approach to the design with lighting components coordinated into this rich interior. The interior is complemented by its variety of materials and textures which are further accentuate by what we feel is a vital ingredient, light.

Client: MW Eat
Interior Designer: Design Wilkes
Architect: Crispin Wrig


AKA Restaurant, Japan

The interior of this restaurant is designed in a traditional Japanese style. The main table is constructed of real Japanese maple, highlighted with narrow beam tungsten halogen spotlights.

Each private room is separated by a mosquito net; a suitable material to let light pass through and keep the light from glaring people at the dining table.

‘Hanare’ is the Japanese tea room, where light comes from the lower part of a paper sliding door, which creates a calming atmosphere.

1707 Wine Bar, Fortnum and Mason,
Piccadilly, London, UK

In 2005, the Fortnum and Mason department store in London underwent a complete refurbishment. The famous food court is located on the lower ground floor, and central to this area was installed a high-end wine bar designed by David Collins Studio. Gary Campbell, London partner at dpa, was commissioned to design the lighting for all areas of the refurbishment including the wine bar. In keeping with DCS usual projects, the interior design was very high-quality while,  in this concept, retaining an impression of a traditional bodega or wine cellar. Indirect concealed lighting illuminated the vaulted ceiling with custom hand-blown glass pendants providing ambient illumination. The focal point of the wine bar was a large wine display case with all the necessary environmental controls for expensive wines. To this end, fibre-optic lighting was discreetly detailed into the cabinetry to illuminate each bottle. A scene set dimming system controlled all lighting and a warm ambient appearance was provided at all times.

The Connaught Bar, Connaught Hotel, London

The Connaught in London is one of the city’s ‘elder statesman’ hotels and is a favourite for many for its discreet location and very high quality service. The hotel underwent a complete refurbishment in phases in the early 2000’s and Gary Campbell, London partner at dpa was commissioned to provide lighting design services to the ground floor public areas. One of these areas is the Connaught Bar, previously the famous old ‘American Bar’. David Collins Studio was commissioned to develop a unique luxurious interior design. The interior lighting has a high degree of decorative luminaires, pendants and wall lights, and these are complemented with very discreet downlighting to provide accent. Fibre-optics are integrated into the wine display cases.

Client and Operator: Maybourne Hotel Group
Project Manager: Rainey and Best
Architect: Blair Associates Architects
Interior Designers: David Collins, India Madhavi & Sills Huniford Associates
M&E Consultant: Lehding Services Design