In London’s Mayfair neighborhood, the historic Connaught Hotel has for years been a prestigious landmark. Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s new restaurant brings to the hotel an informal gourmet dining experience in a relaxed, modern setting.
Working within the rich heritage of The Connaught, architect John Heah created a contemporary environment with small tables embraced by soft, rounded seating. L’Observatoire designed a variety of lighting atmospheres to provide an inviting sense of intimacy for each table, and celebrating both the architectural legacy of the building and its new design features.
Along the back wall of the restaurant, spotlights and indirect light illuminate tables and light coves, accenting intricate moulding and other original architectural details. Along the front windows, floor-to-ceiling glazing that brings in ample natural light from the entrance plaza, ten glass discs are suspended like floating clouds above the tables. Lined with LEDs and colored filters, the discs offer maximum flexibility as the restaurant transitions from a bright environment for breakfast and lunch to a soft ambiance for dinner.
In addition, the suspended lights introduce a new contemporary language that complements the existing space by adding a sense of openness. This extends beyond the walls of the restaurant to the exterior plaza outside the hotel’s main entrance, where Tadao Ando’s shimmering water feature, entitled Silence, was installed in 2011.