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Light Up Your Imagination



Molecule, the new eatery at D3 is more than just fabulous food!

August - 2017
Dharmendra Patel
When artists, architects, lighting and interior designers collude, it is amazing to see projects unfurl into a larger than life canvas. Work becomes fun as we join in the endeavour to convert a design into reality.

When this goal is achieved by the team, the payback is not quantifiable as the creative gratification is a reward in itself.

Our latest association with the concept development and interior design consultants, Ansonia Concepts and specialty lighting design agency Light.Func, to work on Molecule, the first French Bistro to open at Dubai Design District, offered us yet another such opportunity. The end result is breathtaking and it gives us much pride to be associated with the fine minds that ended up creating such a vibrant space.

Molecule, the new eatery at D3 is more than just fabulous food!

The French Bistro, Molecule located at the Dubai Design District, has evolved into a quirky, eclectic space that is perfect for the creative ones to flex their design muscles in!

Conceived by the talented duo Samir and Amie Kerchiched from Ansonia Concepts, the 3000 square feet space functions as a bistro by day, a restaurant after sunset and a lounge by night. Needless to state that at the heart of the spectacular interiors is a clever lighting plan that permits such versatile functioning.

Molecule is a French Bistro by Day.

It is Sakina Dugawalla of Light.Func- a boutique lighting design agency- who has brought dynamism to the restaurant creating 'Light with Soul' in a way that illumines every element of the restaurant irrespective of the time of day.

Here Samir Kerchiched, from Ansonia Concepts and Lighting designer, Sakina Dugawalla from Light.Func recount the story of Molecule, as its journey unfolded from bare space, to the most talked about restaurant in Dubai!

It all began with a piece of wallpaper!
First things first, what was behind its name? “Our inspiration was a perfume called Molecule 01,” says Samir Kerchiched, the brain behind the boutique F&B concept design agency, Ansonia Concepts that developed the design and concept for the space as well as curated and brought in various creatives from Dubai. “It is a revolutionary scent that has no smell of its own, however when splashed on, it morphs into each individual's unique bio-signature, to create a personalised fragrance that is distinctive. In our minds, D3, is a space much like Molecule which addresses itself uniquely to the needs of a diverse design community.

Sometimes, little things become a springboard for a cornucopia of great ideas!! The concept for the funky interiors at Molecule too, began from something as small as a fragment of wallpaper.

“It's true,” says Samir. “The print had a contemporary geometric design and a colour palette that was alluring. We found a manufacturer in Sharjah who specializes in 3D wall treatment in Islamic art. Then the story developed to include the floor, walls and ceiling with the same geometries treated in three different materials. Our mental brief included optimizing creativity, sticking to true to design elements, and using only the best quality brands in furniture and lighting.

Spectacular ambience: Geometric angles on the walls, ceiling and floors
Spectacular ambience: Geometric angles on the walls, ceiling and floors are played up by linear, vertical and decorative lights in the night.

Quite clearly, the highlight at Molecule is the large undulating ceiling and the feature walls that offer a unique architectural perspective and charming texture to the interiors. Together with the interesting floors, these form the backdrop for the FOH space divided into a restaurant and lounge bar. “It took six months, to get the gypsum walls and ceilings, synchronized into the right shape and colour,” says Samir.

The layers within the lighting
Molecule, had to function as a restaurant, lounge, bar and art space. Light.Func's Sakina Dugawalla explains the lighting brief focused on maximising daylight and offering functional light design solutions that met with the Society of Light and Lighting as well as ASHRAE requirements. It also included working closely with Ansonia Concepts to add elements of decorative lighting to enhance the overall ambience of the space.

“We focused on vertical illumination, to enhance the perception of space. Although the walls were darker, using specific superior lensed fixtures assisted us in achieving the same output as we would, for a lighter environment. Focus lights hidden in the ceilings illuminate walls and tables while linear grazers accentuate visual partitioning within the space. By enhancing hue and through highlighting different elements through architectural lighting to reflect their intrinsic texture and colour - a light space of sorts is created,” elaborates Sakina.

Perfectly positioned wall washers display art in the best light
Perfectly positioned wall washers display art in the best light.

The end result is a spectacular ambience derived through technical innovation and the creative use of products and fixtures. “The use of a high-quality light engine and controlled optics has ensured light is projected exactly where it needs to be! Hidden fixtures create focus lights - on all the tables to create intimacy and segregation without losing the background - on the 3D wall artwork on display. The use of highly technical and quality LED lamps to faithfully reproduce colours was of paramount importance. Track-mounted fixtures with four different optics and high colour rendering LED modules, with the addition of some LED strip lights and furniture embedded fixtures formed aspects of architectural lighting. Whereas, light strips embedded within the base of the bar provide functional lighting for work tops.” she continues.

The Creation Input
Called in to supply, test and commission a customised dimming system, Creation teamed up with Ms. Sakina Dugawalla and Mr. Samir Kerchiched once more. “eDin the Dimming System by Mode, was chosen as a tried and tested solution by Light.Func as it has the proven robustness and flexibility to permit the designer and client to change groups and control fixtures individually if required without changing any wiring,” says Creation MD, Dharmendra Patel.

Commending Creation's professional teamwork, Sakina says, “The team took on board our pre-configured scene settings, and stayed till late on several occasions, using their exceptional know-how to fine tune the design intent. Time was of no concern, just the outcome!

“We achieved the design intent 100% with the exception of being unable to install the wall-wash fixtures. Owing to a slight discrepancy of layouts to the actual built site, just a lot of site coordination was required,” reveals Sakina.

“Every project for the Creation team is unique. But not all rate equally when it comes to satisfaction. Working on Molecule, however, was a deeply gratifying experience as it entailed working closely with the concept creators. Teaming up with brilliant minds to assist in the process of helping design meet reality has its own unique charm” concludes Dharmendra.

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CREATION Gulf is a leading provider of architectural light fixtures and automation solutions since 1998. We specialize in the design, supply, testing and commissioning of a variety of turnkey lighting projects.

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