Bronze relief


Prospect International has created an Italian restaurant and lounge for people visiting Dubai World Trade Centre

UAE: Prospect International Design has capitalised on an Italian theme at Donatello restaurant and lounge in DWTC by placing a real olive tree painted in copper in the middle of the dining area.

The design firm, which created the interiors of Movida nightclub and The Gramercy in DIFC was approached by the Donatello Group after working on a boutique hotel for them in Eastern Europe.

“The brief was to develop an Italian restaurant and lounge that could cater to visitors of DWTC all year round, as well as people living in Dubai. It needed two private dining rooms for individual functions and washrooms, as the previous restaurant lounge, Lotus, did not have any,” said Fady Chams, MD, Prospect International Design.

“Part of the brief was to separate the restaurant from the lounge. It was vital to come up with an elegant interior while ensuring it felt comfortable and welcoming. Apart from that, the client let us work without a lot of restraints.”

An earthy colour scheme was selected for both the restaurant and lounge, which looks like a box, and has a ‘barcode’ design on the ceiling and floor.

The ceiling is made with walnut wooden beams and tinted mirrors. The flooring barcode, which is a continuity of the ceiling, is made with the same walnut wood flooring parquet and metallic tiles.

The restaurant main ceiling is made out of 1.8km of metallic copper tubes and the design is a ‘field of tubes’ coming down from the ceiling lit by spotlights.

Prospect wanted to implement some Dubai spirit into the room using an oriental pattern in the musharabieh on the glass façade of the private rooms, on the partitions on both sides of the restaurant, round sofas and as a frosted sticker on the wine cellar glass.

“We wanted to give emphasis to Italy by using an olive tree veneer on the tables, putting two head sculptures on the wall and placing a real olive tree painted in copper in the middle of the restaurant area,” added Chams. “At first, it was a difficult challenge to find a natural entrance to Donatello, since the actual entry point was on one side.

“Then we decided the main entrance should be in the middle of the space, to access the restaurant or the lounge directly.

‘It was very important for us to separate the restaurant area from the lounge, to ensure that the clientele coming in and out from the lounge won’t bother the people sitting inside the restaurant.

“The other challenge was to build washrooms inside the building, without having to consume a lot of the main restaurant, therefore we’ve allocated them in the far left corner, and created the private dining rooms adjacent to the washrooms, which keeps the nice symmetry that was in that space.”

As there is very little natural light coming in from outside, the design team used a lot of fixtures such as indirect light in the ceiling, spotlights, chandeliers, the barcode indirect LED lights, table lamps behind the sofas, the back-lit Alabaster on the bar façade and reception desk.

Prospect International is currently working on ‘Ornina Barcelona’ in Al Bandar, Abu Dhabi, due to open soon, Grand Central burger outlet still under construction in Dalma Mall and has been signed to design the first Fashion TV Studio (restaurant and night lounge) in Dubai.

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