Crown commissioned Bates Smart to design The Fat Duck and Electrolight to design the lighting to all front of houses areas. Electrolight was faced with the challenge of how to use light to enhance one of the world’s great culinary experiences.
Blumentahal is renowned for taking diners on a multi-sensory food journey and The Fat Duck does not disappoint. Feelings of anticipation start from the entry ramp, where pools of light contribute to the creation of a false perspective, leading patrons to a miniature door and entry to the dining room.
Bates Smart’s concept for the restaurant is designed around the idea of chiaroscuro, the use of strong contrasts between light and dark to create drama. The use of deep, sumptuous upholsteries, dark lacquered panelling and rich carpets provide a backdrop to the spotlit white clothed tables. Strategically placed luminaires allow the food to take centre stage, adding to the theatre.
The array of colours and textures in the food presented by Blumenthal was an important consideration when selecting luminaires. Fittings with warm colour temperatures and high colour rendering were utilised to ensure that the food was presented spectacularly. The kitchen luminaires were selected to match those used throughout the dining floor to ensure a consistent appearance of the food from plating to table.
Blumenthal told the Herald Sun he was pleased with the design: “And the lighting at night, it’s the best lighting I’ve ever seen in a restaurant” he said.
The Fat Duck launched in February 2015 and will remain open until mid August when it will close and the space will be re-designed to host “Dinner by Heston”, another collaboration by Bates Smart and Electrolight.