International lighting design practice Nulty has delivered the lighting scheme for 25hoursHotel One Central in Dubai, the German hospitality group’s first hotel outside of Europe. The company worked in close partnership with global architecture and interiors studio Woods Bagot to realise the brand’s goal of marrying its democratic design spirit with a desire to root the hotel in its locality.
The hotel, which opened in December last year, overlooks the striking Museum of the Future and is located close to Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
“As every space is an exercise in creative storytelling, lighting design serves to reinforce each narrative and reveal the playful design sensibility that runs through each exterior and interior scheme,” says a spokesman for the UK-headquartered practice, which has offices in Dubai, Miami (US) and Bangkok (Thailand).
The lighting design intent for the exterior of the hotel was to enhance the theatricality of the façade and surroundings. Uplights graze the patterned walls between each window to create a rhythmic play of light across the expanse of the building. An illuminated pathway of recessed in-ground lights adds drama to the entranceway and is framed by highlights to planters.
Inside the vast lobby of 25hours Hotel One Central, light serves to immerse guests in their surroundings and emphasise a number of brilliantly realised artistic features. Dominating the space is an imposing 26-m painted ceiling entitled Under the Same Sky, which depicts key constellations and Dubai landmarks. Here, the team washed the ceiling with indirect light from the perimeter to frame the scene and provide a balanced level of ambient light throughout the atrium. Minimalist downlights were then carefully integrated into the design to supplement light levels with minimal impact to the artwork itself.
Elsewhere in the lobby at the Fountain of Tales – a tiered seating and bookcase area – integrated joinery lighting contributes to the cosy intimacy of the space and forms interesting visual effects at the top of the installation where the fountain meets a vibrant rotating globe. Joinery lighting works on a grander scale elsewhere in the atrium, illuminating an impressive double-height shelving wall that features a curated assortment of curiosities.
Across all of the hotel’s 434 guest rooms and suites, layers of light were used to emphasise the rich tapestry of materials and finishes in each scheme. As each of the guest rooms and suites reflects a different creative theme – Bedouin, Glamping, Farmstay, Artist Village and Hakawati –the team used surface-mounted spotlights and discreet downlights to provide a base layer of ambient light, and then added an eclectic mix of reading lights, desk lamps and pendants to add depth and character.
Upstairs in the sixth-floor Monkey Bar, lighting is deliberately subdued to bring a jungle-inspired design aesthetic to life. Decorative pendants suspended amongst planters across the ceiling lend an intensity to the space and are complemented by low-level lighting in the form of wall and floor lamps. The showpiece bar features joinery lighting around feature display areas and a line of illumination under the countertop to pick out the green geometric tiles beneath. Overlooking the entire scene, a large monkey wall installation behind the bar has been given an added touch of mystery through its all-seeing, illuminated orange eyes.
In the outside terrace bar, the team used integrated bench lighting in each of the caged seating areas and concealed lighting in planting to enhance the theatricality of the experience. The rooftop pool was given a cooler colour temperature to offset the warmth of the bar.