Douglas James worked directly with Jo Hagan of USE Architects and the restaurateurs Jacob Kenedy and Victor Hugo to create an ambience that manages to combine a contemporary feel whilst managing to retain a classic sense of style and glamour. This was very much the clients’ and architect’s approach to the whole project, from the menu and cuisine through to selection of materials and architectural details. Lighting was seen as playing an integral role in achieving the overall effect.
“Mindseye were quick to grasp the character and personality of the project and responded with a subtle and flexible proposal which highlighted the elegant simplicity of the space”, architect Jo Hagan says.
Bocca di Lupo is a place of two halves. In the sexy informal bar area you can eat and drink at the white marble counter, whilst taking in the activity and delicious smells emanating from the kitchen.
There are feature pendants, trim-less down lights and edge-lighting to a ceiling coffer which echoes the line of the counter below. This cove detail sweeps in the shape of the bar; keeping the ceiling clean and clutter free, whilst providing the entrance area with an inviting glow.
The main dining room is dominated by a large central chandelier, which is set off by the surrounding indirect diffuse light provided by a carefully detailed ceiling coffer. In addition to this, a series of adjustable spotlights’ provide illumination to key art pieces - the fine paintings of flowers and food that line the wall are by the LA-born artist Haidee Becker - and the tables themselves, creating an intimate feel for customers.
The project was not without challenges: changes to the design made on site, tight budgets and a quick turn-around meant that Mindseye needed to be responsive and proactive throughout. However, the result is a fabulous complimentary lighting scheme that plays its part in helping this highly praised Italian restaurant to become the hottest ticket in town.
Jacob Kenedy and Victor Hugo