The restaurant opened its doors on January 30th, 2020. Located in the historical Felix Meritis building in Amsterdam, it is a one-of-a-kind setting. The restaurant’s design is an interpretation of a Dutch 18th-century period room, including appropriate historical colours and textile wall covering, with a distinctively contemporary twist. An image of a typical Dutch sky has been translated into a tactile wall covering in the restaurant that contributes to superb acoustics.
Together with MATH Architecten and i29 interior design, Koen Smits from Lichtconsult developed the lighting concept for the Felix Meritis building and restaurant. Great lighting design realises and bolsters the architect’s vision, nowhere more so than here. The building has an incredible architectural and cultural legacy. Within the scope of the architect’s vision, the constructional limitations, the client’s wishes, the municipal aesthetics committee, and available budget, Smits was asked to design a lighting plan for all the major spaces to enhance the visitors’ experience and to comply with the operators’ required functionality.
Although crafting a great atmosphere in a restaurant is by no means a unique design challenge, the project rather concerned elegantly applying proven concepts of indirect, diffuse lighting, and direct accent lighting. The XAL MOVE IT track system and JUST spotlights’ unique design blends seamlessly with the clean interior design such that the lighting showcases the interior’s unique features like the wall’s textiles and the bespoke furniture.
The option to adjust the direct and indirect tunable white makes a wide range of atmospheres possible, from active lunch meetings to fine dining in the evening. Fantastic colour rendering is an absolute must in a restaurant.
The construction of the differing suspended rectangular luminaires, including designing the lengths, integration of indirect lighting, and balancing the needed suspension points with feasibility in an historic ceiling, is a clear example of great team work between lighting designer and manufacturer.
Koen Smits IALD, Lichtconsult
Where do you see the trends for lighting design in restaurants?
Probably in lighting controls. Easily creating lighting scenes with the swipe of a finger that provide perfect scalable solutions in which a restaurant can “switch on” parts of the restaurant for each time of day, season, and number of visitors.
Lichtconsult is an independent lighting design firm (est. 1989), that commits itself to designing plans for a variety of projects ranging from retail to museums and factories to high-end residential projects. The goal is to realise the (architect's) vision, bringing a solid lighting concept to the table that improves the aesthetic and emotional quality of the building while reducing instalment, power supply, and maintenance costs.
Photographer: Ewout Huibers
Architect: MATH Architecten, i29
Lighting Design: Lichtconsult