Yauatcha Teahouse Lighting by Paul Nulty Lighting Design, London – UK

September 3rd, 2015 by retail design blog

Paul Nulty Lighting Design (PNLD) has completed work on the latest London opening for the Hakassan Group’s Yauatcha, in Broadgate Circle. Yauatcha, a contemporary dim sum teahouse sits within a unique semi-circular restaurant overlooking Broadgate Circle in the City of London, and is the company’s second UK opening for the restaurant chain.


PNLD worked collaboratively with the client and alongside architecture firm Gensler and interior design company GBRH, to create a dramatic lighting design concept that is consistent with the brand’s identity and adapted to the unique space and physical needs of the new restaurant and retail unit.


Set over two floors PNLD has designed a lighting scheme that complements the darkness of the interior design. Lighting entices customers upstairs by incorporating the brand’s signature blue colour within an illuminated glass balustrade and staircase that leads from the ground floor entrance to the first floor restaurant.

Sparkling fibre optic lighting is used to create a starry theatrical ceiling and cladded geometric lattice panels are illuminated with ground recessed uplights that bring texture and depth to the space. Three bespoke large white silk pendants hang above the concierge desk forming a focal point and an illuminating glow for guests.

The reception on the first floor features the soft blue back lighting within key brand elements such as the back-illuminated fish tank and the first of many orange columns that are downlit to punctuate the space and provide rhythm and permeability. Integrated lighting has also been cleverly used to showcase a large pastry display, which runs alongside the reception area.

Lighting levels are designed to be deliberately low and contrast ratios high to create a dramatic environment throughout the restaurant. Simplicity was key to the design throughout with architectural details housing discrete lighting such as integrated luminaires within joinery.

PNLD were able to pick up and highlight brand elements within the interior, such as small brass crosses integrated within the brick walls, which house LED candles creating a warm illuminating ambience for an intimate dining experience. Clusters of bespoke bone white china pendants hang throughout the restaurant providing intimacy and defining the sleek style of the space.

The two bar areas continue to use the brand’s signature cove lighting above, whilst providing additional drama through the use of a rear illuminated corian bar-top.

Claire Hamill, intermediate lighting designer said: “Throughout this project it was important for us to focus on key characteristic lighting design elements that make the brand recognisable whilst creating an atmosphere that is inviting and dramatic.”

Two large terraces run alongside either end of the restaurant, with soft uplighting used on neutral stone columns to define the area. Low level lighting used under planters around the edges all form the perfect halo of light to frame the view of the City and add a softness to the outside space.

The new Yauatcha Patisserie on the ground floor selling tea and desserts continues with the brand’s distinct blue backlighting and features soft downlights to bring focus on the products for sale but still keeping the same ambience and charm as the restaurant upstairs.

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