H2R Design, the award-winning design studio creating renowned commercial and hospitality spaces, recently saw the completion of two highly distinctive outlets at The Dubai Mall’s new Fashion Avenue extension: a Hardee’s restaurant and the Symphony luxury fashion store.
The London/Dubai based design firm – founded by Hasan and Husain Roomi, two dynamic UK-born brothers with Middle Eastern background, along with their partner Jacqui Shaddock – was tasked with the creation of the upscaled Hardee’s restaurant in the new mall extension.
Spanning across 353 sq m, the outlet reveals a fresh and unique design concept to the distinguished fast-food chain, while staying true to the brand that is popular the world over.
H2R Design was inspired by the concept of upscaling the fast-food experience, Hasan Roomi tells Gulf Construction.
The design goal was to create an elevated, modern and versatile setting that would attract a wide demographic of diners. Experimenting with layered textures, brand graphics and wooden panelling, H2R Design was able to create an uplifted ambiance for Hardee’s new flagship location, he says.
Commenting on the project, Hasan says: “With Hardee’s deeply-rooted history and brand association as a fast-food chain, our challenge was to reinvent the existing look, while still following the brand guidelines.
“We wanted to ensure that the new design and attributes were still correlating to the historical brand story, which is of major importance, as Hardee’s has such a significant presence in the market. Through our design process, we were able to open up playful features in some respects, while keeping certain elements in the classical form.”
Greeting guests with the words “Authentic American Classics” on the entrance wall, Hardee’s welcomes diners with a promise of being served the best and most authentic quality meals. The seating layout with spacious table settings, draws in the brand’s family-oriented ethos, encouraging family and friends to come together for the love of food.
“The immersive experience is brought together through the integration of brand colours such as the harmonious black and red hanging lights from the ceiling and colour-pop stools located around the space. Surrounded by glass-glazed floor-to-ceiling windows, the restaurant allowing diners to indulge in their meals while enjoying a wide view of The Dubai Mall’s famed fountain entertainment.
Factoring in the functionality of the restaurant and its proximity to the Dubai fountain, the restaurant has also been equipped with multiple self-service kiosks, which allows for faster service for dine-in and takeaway.
Hardee’s is located on the lower ground floor of The Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue extension.
Meanwhile, H2R Design was also responsible for designing the interiors of Symphony, which relocated to its new two-floor home within the recently launched Fashion Avenue extension. Spread over 672 sq m, Symphony is a luxury, multi-brand boutique, providing women with a variety of new and renowned designer brands from all over the world. The design vision was to create an inspirational space inviting unique personalities to experience a tailored shopping occasion.
“A significant point of inspiration for H2R Design was the name of the store, Symphony – a musical composition for a full orchestra and a blend of sounds that create a beautiful harmony,” explains Hasan. “The fluidity of these musical waves and the harmony that can result from the blending of different instruments, amongst the creative talent (the showcased garments and products) is represented now in this retail space.”
The design had to be aligned with the Symphony brand guidelines and persona which are: airy, light, and inviting, and had to reflect the expert curation, bespoke customisation, personalised services of the store whilst evoking an overall nurturing environment, he adds.
Symphony boasts of intricate elements in every corner and delicate detailing throughout, yet the guidelines were taken into consideration in every step and when merging the two-floor design seamlessly and into a harmonious order.
This led to the creation of an illuminated staircase, which plays a vital role in the holistic store experience. Adding to the theme of melody and harmony, the staircase emphasises the fluidity of the space by effortlessly connecting the ground floor where the accessory boutique and signature fashion brands can be found, to the first floor which hosts the florist and perfume sections. It also naturally flows into the Two café where retailers can ultimately relax and unwind over delicious treats.
Alongside the rails, counters and shelves, the backlit alabaster accessory wall elegantly displays shelves with shoes and bags and adds to the interchangeable elements of the display. The backlit wall also exudes luxury and adds to the light and airiness of the space.
“Keeping the concept of a symphony as our inspiration, we envisioned the store to be approachable, refined, feminine and spirited, helping women express their unique individual identities with the perfect dress and accessory for every occasion. The space allows the merchandise to really be showcased while still having a strong architectural identity,” the H2R Design team explains.
“We recreated this harmony architecturally through a melodic use of lighting and materials. With the curvature of the panelling and walls, and the blurring and blending of spaces, the shopper can sense lightness and movement,” they continue.
A space that exudes quality craftsmanship, luxury and elegance, the simplicity and detailing of the Symphony’s interiors has produced an environment that represents the same quality as the products it homes. The warm tones, and open airy spaces ensure the retail experience is not intimidating, but warm and inviting.
Supported by a design team with broad global experience, H2R maintains a diverse commercial portfolio with its primary focus being the hospitality sector. As the various disciplines of design often overlap and integrate, H2R endeavours to offer a total concept; this includes branding and identity design, bespoke furniture and fitting design, salvaging and appropriation and even sourcing site locations.