Saudi Arabia-based light design firm, DTS, has worked on the design of an art gallery and restaurant in Riyadh, using advanced lighting technology.
Founded in 2010, by Abdulaziz Al-Azem, DTS provides professional lighting designs for different types of projects, from residential to public, urban and landscape.
The Oruba Gallery is a 740m2 space spread over two storeys, where one of the main demands of the client was to have the latest lighting technology available in the market. “This was a very interesting project for us; it was a combination between an art gallery and a restaurant which created a unique interior atmosphere,” said Al-Azem.
He added, the client wanted to create a good mood lighting for the restaurant, while having suitable fixtures to enhance the works of art, where most of the objects were paintings.
Al-Azem said once DTS landed the contract, the design team immediately started thinking of how it could use the most advanced and latest lighting technology available. The designers’ concept was to create an art gallery which boasts of quality and corresponds to the experience of dining as well.
“We call our concept ‘the cozy art gallery’,” said Al-Azem.
“We decided to specify LED luminaires from high-end European brands such as ERCO (Germany), XAL (Austria) and DGA from Italy. This produced a higher efficiency, as most of the luminaires are linked to a lighting control system,” he added.
A small lounge bar and art gallery will be housed on the first floor, where DTS worked on illuminating the paintings and other artwork. “For this area, we used a track light system in combination with Logotec LED spotlight from ERCO.
The advantage of using this is its flexibility. Even if the object which we want to highlight is moving, we can adjust the spotlight with the track light to match its movement,” said Al-Azem, He said the Logotec LED spotlight from ERCO was chosen because of its technology, and its ability to have a wide range of beam distribution from a narrow one to wide flood. He also said it is the best light source to bring out the details in objects like paintings.
The second floor consists of the restaurant and paintings hung on the walls.
“This floor is the most critical area because of the function of the mixture,” added Al-zem. On this floor DTS used LED recessed directional spotlight from ERCO for highlighting the paintings and the dining tables.
In order to create the cozy mood ambience, DTS combined technical luminaires from ERCO with those from XAL Austria. It also used a decorative luminaire from XAL called JANE, which is a very small system LED recessed on the ceiling highlighting a metal chain curtain. The combination between LED and metal chain created a sparkling effect. It also used the LED stripe for the cove lighting instead of using a fluorescent tube. In the end, it also used a lighting control system from BTICINO.
Al-Azem said the most challenging part was to work out how to combine the mood lighting for the restaurant and technical lighting for the art gallery.
“For instance, to maintain a certain amount of light in the painting, we had to choose lamp sources that were not emitting UV and IR radiation. On the other hand, we had to create moody lighting for the restaurant, that had a cozy ambient feel which helps the customers to relax and which will present the food more attractively,” he said.
DTS is now working on a range of projects, from interiors of religious buildings to exterior façade lighting. “We are working on projects for a mosque in Jeddah, a design for three storeys of furniture showrooms in Riyadh, retail lighting for Thawb shop in Riyadh, a villa in Dammam, façade lighting for an office tower in Jeddah and more,” said Al-Azem.
He added, there are many prestigious projects in progress in Saudi Arabia, which is positively impacting the interior design industry in the country.
“Many people now in Saudi Arabia are slowly realising the importance of good interior design. So we can say that interior design in Saudi Arabia is now tremendous,” he added.