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Light Up Your Imagination



The Noodle House Makeover

December - 2017
Dharmendra Patel
The UAE will celebrate its 46th National Day this month. The progress of this country is certainly laudable. On the occasion, I wish to congratulate all the rulers and the people on this occasion. 

Even as Dubai rolls into the next mega phase of its unstoppable expansion, we continue to play our small part in its exciting story. As path breaking projects continue to be unveiled, it is our privilege to have a ringside view of this city's growth. Premium brands both in hospitality and retail continue spreading their presence in an effort to service what is now becoming one of the poshest cities of the world.
However, few realize, that when you are participating in such transformation, you cannot but avoid being pushed up a few notches yourself. We are constantly learning. The environment we work in demands it and the skills we acquire along the way polish us up too. It’s a two way process.
Noodle House Logo

Jumeirah group has since inception spiced up the food scene in Dubai by introducing the city to a range of global food fare options. The Noodle House, known as the home of Asian Soul Food, is one such popular home-grown eatery.

Six noodle houses located at key locations such as Dubai Mall, DIFC, Emirates Towers Hotel, Burjuman Mall and Souk Madinat Jumeirah are joined by the newly opened fine dining version at The Dubai Airport concourse.

After 15 years of doing brisk business LW Designs, the design house that originally designed the Noodle House was asked to revisit the brand and engage in a complete brand makeover. The revamp, which includes an update on both the food and the decor is inspired by the bustling street markets of Jakarta. A host of cultural and colourful sights and themes with a traditional approach to Asian Dining complete with sticks-hands-spoons, has infused new life into the brand.

“The first of the new look stores was introduced at the Concourse D of Dubai Airport. However, it was the one in Souk Madinat Jumeirah that was launched with much fanfare. The look and feel of this store was established as the way forward,” says Vinod Pillai, Lighting Designer, LW Designs.

The outlet in Souk Madinat Jumeirah is the flagship store with many different zones, each having unique views. Lighting wise, the Show Kitchen and the bar counter were of primary focus as the action in the kitchen is quite engaging. Narrow sharp accents on the tables were complemented by softer ambient wash on the artworks and feature walls. “The decorative chain feature lighting, which adds to the narrative by showcasing imagery from the Orient, is fast becoming inseparable from the Noodle House brand. The original design had lighting integrated into the parasols to provide ambient lighting on the terraces. However, due to project constraints they were replaced with standard battery-operated table lamps,” explains Mr. Pillai.

First Look @ The Noodle House, Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Source: Hotelier Middle East (Youtube)

Creation worked with LW Designs for both the Burjuman and the Souk Madinat Jumeirah outlets to supply, test and commission lighting and lighting control systems. “Ensuring smooth execution on site was our prime objective as we provided a complete package that included supplying light fixtures and lighting control systems from different suppliers and manufacturers” says Mr. Patel. The designers had specified Mode Lighting for controls and LED strips from Acolyte for both projects. To enable ease of execution and a single point for all things related to lighting, we decided to make a complete package which also included products from Fulham, Soraa, Lucent, Luce & Light, and Precision Lighting for Souk Madinat Jumeirah while for Burjuman the lights are from Fulham, Forma Lighting, Lucent, Precision Lighting, Luci and Aurora.
Elaborating on the broad lighting design plan, Mr. Pillai explains “The layouts and elements, including the lighting design are similar from store-to-store but with nuances to suit each site.” 
“For example, in a larger space like in the Souk Madinat Jumeirah outlet, lighting aids the narrative to explore different areas of the outlet. Through the day and night, it helps to create different moods to engage the various customer bases. During the day, the lighting design responds to the daylight-soaked restaurant, ideally suiting the sedate customer out for a quiet bowl of hot noodles. Come night-time, lighting transforms the space into a vibrant space with a lot of buzz. In all cases, the lighting hierarchy maintains the accent on the elements – the Hero wall, Show Kitchen, Duck Display, Bowls and accessories - that contribute to the signature Noodle House look.”
“Considering the daylight ingress in the Burjuman outlet is almost non-existent, the challenges were fewer. This outlet is smaller and therefore, the focus was more on maintaining the lighting accents. Overall the design is aimed to expand on its customer base. A classic F&B lighting approach was used as a model for both locations. It is a given that the customers visit Noodle House to savor the culinary delights on offer. The lighting helps establish the mood and makes the whole experience enjoyable.”
“To keep the system efficient and easy to maintain, lockable spotlights were chosen. Choice of lamps were optimised which made it easier for the store to stock spares. An array of accessories were used to achieve the various beam requirements and visual comfort. As a standard practice, we ensure all luminaires have efficient LED lamps to achieve a conservative lighting load. Additionally, lighting in the space is programmed to take advantage of the daylighting as well,” says Mr. Pillai.

Commenting on whether his concepts eventually matched reality, Mr. Pillai explains, “It is a given that in every project something unexpected pops up, because of which the desired result is compromised. Whilst the Noodle Houses had its share of such pop-ups, I think we have been able to achieve a great result with good coordination with the construction team. Lighting wise, Creation’s controls team exhibited a lot of patience to work at the subtleties in each pocket of the Souk Madinat Jumeirah outlet. A great rapport between Creation and LW Designs ensured that work was fun. Earlier on, in the design phases as well, the various teams of LW Designs worked collaboratively to ensure design discrepancies or conflicts are avoided. In a nutshell, good planning, constant and effective communication and a construction team that buys into the design intent were key to an effective realisation.”

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