Noir Lounge in Dubai, designed by Bassos Design, takes guests back to the ‘speakeasy’ movement of the 1920s.
The Speakeasy movement originated in the decadent environment of the 1920s United States. It was a time when great strides in social change and norms occurred, with a flourishing of the decorative arts distinctively depicted in the Art Deco style – Le Modern. From the bold colour schemes and glossy geometric metalwork to the luxurious finishes and the herringbone patterned tile mosaics to the custom designed chandeliers and quirky artwork, the Noir lounge and cocktail bar in Dubai has visual cues linked to this period.
Transporting guests into an era of nostalgia reminiscent of New York in the 1920s, the interior design was delivered by James Bassos and his team at Bassos Design studio.
Located in the Kempinski hotel Mall of the Emirates, the initial design brief was to create a luxurious lounge that would set a new standard in both design quality and service, offering signature cocktails, Latin American and Asian food.
With new outlets opening all the time, Dubai has become an extremely competive market,” says Bassos. “People who come are used to travelling to many international destinations such as New York, London or Paris and are expecting a sense of luxury and the design that is rich and sophisticated. On the other hand, clients are now looking for a very bespoke response to their brief and they want something that has that point-of-difference.”
Set in front of the geometrical screen, guests are greeted by a contemporary monolithic wolf sculpture, which acts as a visual clue to the overall branding of Noir.
The wolf concept has been interpreted in the design through several features within the space. “Bespoke sculptural items have been developed to strengthen the concept of the Wolf theme for Noir. Local artists have constructed a fragmented and multi-faceted wolf sculpture with mirror features that is located within the lobby entry of the bar. The wolf theme is further explored and strengthened by two custom resin cast wolf sculptural heads that create a focal and talking point within the lounge,” explains Bassos.
The club chairs and sofas throughout the venue have an old-school gentlemen’s club feel, but the furniture is interpreted in a contemporary way.
“We didn’t want it to feel stuffy and contrived. We wanted it to feel luxurious, but with a bit of a twist to it. We took some traditional wingback chairs and Chesterfield couches and reinterpreted that in a more contemporary way,” he explains.
Luxurious fabrics and leathers have all been incorporated in the finishes and furnishings of the interiors and include exclusive silk and embroidery wallpapers sourced from Belgium, luxurious leathers from tanneries in Germany and rich velvets from Paris.
The stones have been handpicked from a quarry in the north of Italy and they have been used in individual designs for flooring and walls.
When it comes to colour palette, Bassos explains that they’ve chosen quite an unusual scheme. He says: “We brought in the whole idea of the blacks, the reds, the maroons and charcoal blue. We wanted it to be moody but sophisticated at the same time. The palette is unusual, but we are very happy with the results. The crystal features, the smoked grey crystal glass and screens with a metallic feel added another reflection and a bit more richness to the space.”