Inspired by the white moon seen through the dark forest, Nurai restaurant in business bay features a curved honeycomb patterned ceiling and wooden illuminated wall.
Dubai-based studio 4Space Interiors is the design company behind newly opened Nurai restaurant in Business Bay. Meaning the white moon in the Turkish language, the design team, headed by Firas Alsahin and Amjad Hourieh, used the name to further develop a theme for the 300m2 venue that serves international cuisine. So, the moon seen through a dark forest was the overall inspiration behind the design.
“There are a lot of similar concepts out there, so it’s always a challenge to come up with an original design or a name you never heard of. I like to start with a logo and often from the logo we get inspiration for interiors, further creating the guidelines with colours, patterns, materials and finishes,” says Alsahin.
Following the client brief to deliver “casual luxury”, the team also wanted to break free from a typical industrial-looking concept and create what Alsahin describes as more appealing ambience.
“We should move away from the industrial look of using just raw wood, concrete and metal finishes to a softer and more luxurious look that is dominated by patterns and concept-based designs. The industrial design just became too repetitive and less creative. We decided to go with wood, but instead of keeping it raw, we have it smooth. We also kept exposed ceilings but introduced several architectural elements to it.”
One of the main features is the curved honeycomb patterned ceiling. Alsahin explains that mixing the ceiling structure with a wooden texture gave more depth to the focal point of the concept.
He says: “In all of my projects, I like to put architectural elements inside and the ceiling designs have become quite popular and trendy now. We decided to bring the hexagonal shape with the circle to form a domed ceiling structure so that we can feel the curvature of the moon while the custom-made white acrylic pendant lights resemble the moon illumination. Greenery, which hangs in between the ceiling patterns, was added to give more natural feeling and resemblance of the forest.”
Another design feature is a full height wooden illuminated wall.
“When the light is off the forest pattern is completely hidden, and guests can only see a wooden finished wall. The dome ceiling with the hexagonal pattern is made with dark and light Zebrano veneer finishes while the walnut and cherry wooden veneer are used for the wall finishes.”
The furniture is also custom-made, including two types of chairs, and the table tops made from a cross-section of a wooden log.
With the restaurant operating 24 hours a day, the design team had to consider how to accommodate different groups of guests during the day and in the evening when the venue serves as a sports bar. Facing the Dubai Water Canal, the restaurant also features an outdoor area.
Inside, the client wanted a VIP lounge, which is elevated from the main dining area, and an enclosed smoking section.
Gold leaf texture was used for the wall cladding in the VIP sitting area to get a more luxurious look and feel alongside the wooden flooring, while the rest of the venue is covered with hexagonal tiles in different shades.