Located in the heart of the developing Yas Island, the Iris restaurant and lounge has recently been updated by Lebanese designer Suzy Nasr, the visionary behind all of Iris’ locations. Having created the original concept located in Downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Nasr worked to continue the branch’s long standing tropical theme, while updating the overall look.
“The main concept of Iris in general, whether it is the one based in Downtown Beirut, the Oberoi in Dubai or on Yas Island, is to create a tropical yet modern getaway, an environment that exudes a sense of harmony and balance. [It should try to be] simultaneously trendy yet cosy and comfortable with an edge. At Iris Yas Island, the theme revolves around a getaway [experience] rather than a beach,” explains the interior designer.
According to Nasr, the new location on Yas Island differs from its counterparts in regards to its sense of range as well as space-wise. In contrast to the other Iris designs, Iris Yas Island is significantly larger than its two other locations, and due to the extra space, the third location consists of three long-stretched bars, two of which are wooden while the remaining one is made of gold onyx. Hanging above the bars are the signature Iris light bulbs.
Nasr says: “Iris Yas Island’s venue in its entirety, due to its large space and size, allowed us to combine and incorporate Iris’ elements throughout the venue, such as adding an extra bar, adding extra metallic light bulbs, creating different seating such as high stool, bar chairs and lounges.
“The view of the marina has also provided the venue with a calming effect, thanks to the design’s monochromatic soft look that exudes serenity and tranquillity yet is inviting and engaging. Any Iris-goer can marvel and revel in the atmosphere that is created thanks to the space’s design and they can still relax and enjoy themselves.”
Iris Yas Island is furnished by a number a pieces that are comfortable and inviting. Maison Cle, the branch’s exclusive manufacturing company based in Lebanon, supplied every piece of furniture allowing Nasr to customise the design down to every last detail. In addition to Maison Cle, the light bulbs that hang above the bar were provided by PSLAB.
In response to the UAE’s humid climate, thermos wood was an essential element to the design. Nasr explains: “Heat and humidity can affect the durability and sustainability of the furniture, the flooring and the bars. The improved results for thermos wood reduce the potential for shrinkage, wrap or twist. Thermo wood works perfectly for both the indoor and the outdoor areas, and it’s [eco-friendly].”
In addition to the thermos wood, steel partitions and the special light fittings were custom-made and consist of black steel to provide a rough texture.
As Nasr puts it, the concept for the steel partitions came from the desire to create “contrasting elements with the space from the smooth yet tough look and feel of the wooden bar along with the sleek yet rough black metallic fixtures.”
The urban feel and mood of Iris Yas Island is complemented by the outdoor textiles that suit a rustic look. And according to Nasr, the UAE Iris locations differ greatly from the Lebanon locations, due to the fundamental focus on materials that can be used within the overall design structure.
“Every Iris is different in terms of their corresponding views and scenery, from the sparkling city lights seen from Iris Dubai to the soother view of the marina seen at Iris Yas Island. However, all three Iris venues encompass and revolve around the core concept of possessing the unique balance of an inviting, serene retreat that radiates casual glam.”