Fashion statement

The Mondrian-style black ribbed wooden panelling and the gold accent strips ... striking.

Third Avenue Boutique, the latest stylish fine-dining restaurant to open at The Dubai Mall’s luxurious Fashion Avenue extension, combines glamour with a contemporary gourmet concept and blends successfully with its lofty location overlooking the world-famous Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE.

The award-winning design studio H2R Design was commissioned by the client Mohamed Hilal Group to transform the 436-sq-m space into a contemporary dining hotspot that offers a luxurious fine-dining experience while showcasing exquisite handmade chocolates and the brand’s own range of perfumes.

In addition to the spacious interiors, the design also had to incorporate the venue’s distinct feature: the mall’s largest terrace overlooking Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain.

The contemporary glass façade of the fine-dining restaurant.

The contemporary glass façade of the fine-dining restaurant.

“Our aim was to redefine the functional food and beverage (F&B) experience and to add lustre, elegance, and allure to the space,” comments Hasan Roomi, Co-Founder of H2R Design. “We turned the requirement of retail essentials and the infiltration of product displays into design features that complement the dining journey.

“We also created a holistic impression that empathises with the needs of diners while elevating their experience with the interiors.”

“While the design brief called for opulence, H2R Design understood that the core concept begins with the ideology of ‘food is fashion’, where fashion is more than style or clothes. Rather it’s the way people do things differently,” continues his brother Husain Roomi, Co-Founder of the London- and Dubai-based design studio that has created renowned commercial and hospitality spaces.

To meet the expectations of the client and diners, H2R Design wanted to deliver a “mood-aware experience” that is intimate but with a heightened sense of glamour and where the “food is fashion” concept has not only lent itself to the inspirational menu but also to the lighting, angles, materials, and perspectives of the dining experience.

The design aesthetic of Third Avenue Boutique is wholly contemporary from the shopfront glass façade to the layered ceiling panelling.  Alternate coloured patterns  in Carrara White and Armani Grey marble were placed at an angle to the space to create depth and a dynamic feel.

Alternate marble coloured patterns were placed at an angle to the space to create depth and a dynamic feel.

Alternate marble coloured patterns were placed at an angle to the space to create depth and a dynamic feel.

The team incorporated a wall of vertical and horizontal line compositions inspired by the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian to strengthen asymmetries.

Characterised by a rigid geometry of squares and rectangles that are striking in their simplicity, the rich Mondrian-style black ribbed wooden panelling was designed to pronounce the complexity and character of the space while the gold accent strips create definition, says Husain.

The walls further reinforce the modern design while the colour warms the interiors and fills it with shadows and absorbs from the bright exterior spaces. The design also features a brass metal cornice, purposefully used as brass metal adds a touch of elegance and industrial style but with a very eclectic appeal, he adds.

Another unique feature is the floor-to-ceiling digital light boxes on the restaurant’s walls. The light box displays have graphics that change periodically to showcase themes that match the menu. These themes set the moods of the space while also inspiring seasonal menu appetites.

The bar display counter features emerald-ribbed panels and painted tempered fluted glass cladding to provide a textured appearance, creating interest and visual balance. “Although working with the fluted and ribbed glass was difficult when shaping consistency, H2R Design was able to mould it into the desired form,” Hasan informs.

The overall furnishing style at Third Avenue Boutique is contemporary; however, classic shapes and textures were used to further support the plush ambiance. The chairs, in particular, with their velour fabrics, deep colours and idyllic curvature represent the modern feel yet capturing timeless design.

The venue’s distinctive feature is the mall’s largest terrace overlooking Burj Khalifa.

The venue’s distinctive feature is the mall’s largest terrace overlooking Burj Khalifa.

Other design challenges were posed mainly by architectural constraints such as the ceiling. Due to the mall’s architectural and complex service ceiling, the team had to work on it in three levels (visibly seen as ceiling drops or steps), instead of having one flat high ceiling that was in the original design, he adds.

Additionally, as the unit was fused together from two different spaces, a challenge was finding an element that unified both spaces together. The luxe marble flooring achieved that by marrying the two spaces seamlessly.

H2R Design is on the global map of commercial interior design with a portfolio of projects including Tom & Serg, The Sum of Us, Paperfig, Leopolds of London, Alamein Hotel Egypt, Two Café, Symphony, Candylicious, Parkers, Hardee’s, Pizza Express, Cassette, Rose Poudre, Rove Hotel at Dubai Parks and Resorts, Bagel Yard and Asma, in addition to a wide spectrum of other upcoming projects.

Its clients include Emaar Hospitality Group, Emaar Malls, Roya International, Al Abbar Enterprises, Mohamed Al Hilal Group, Emaar Properties, Imkan, Pizza Express, Foodsters and many more.