Quaglino’s Restaurant, UK

1st June 2015

The re-launch of the famous Quaglino’s restaurant in Art Deco style was to involve the creation of a theatrical and multifunctional lighting scheme. Whilst providing for live events, the lighting design by Into, was also required to bring intimacy and atmosphere to the huge basement venue.

The famous ‘W’ ceiling at Quaglino’s was retained as a classic design feature and revamped to include updated lighting. One of the biggest challenges was to create a more impactful lighting effect while working with the existing ceiling construction, which was designed around T8 fluorescent lamps. The colour temperature of the light when diffusing through the glass panels needed to match the warmth of the overall lighting scheme and dim to a very low level post-dusk.

A number of site mock-ups led to the selection of high output 2,400K LED profiles on a dimming system, while detailed drawings enabled correct positioning and housing for best effect. On the mezzanine level a tailored approach to lighting creates focal points. A bespoke halo detail consisting of a round aluminium heat sink with surface-mounted linear LEDs around the circumference was integrated as part of the wall design. This detail around globe wall lights creates a dramatic shadow effect through the fret cut screens, emphasising the Art Deco design. An integrated lighting treatment to the bar nosing on the mezzanine washes warm light onto the bar front from a linear LED source, while the red glass back bar is backlit from the top and bottom with LED profiles to create a uniform light effect.

The original grand staircase is the focal point of the restaurant and was to be transformed into a light feature with backlit marble-effect amberlite risers. Creating a uniformly lit riser was critical and Into worked within a tight void to develop a bespoke lighting detail incorporating side-emitting LED tape.

The design and detailing of the central bar at Quaglino’s was a collaborative effort between Into and suppliers. The challenge was to create an illuminated main feature bar which could be taken apart for special events.

The result of precise detailed drawings and wiring schematics is a fully illuminated bar of nine different sections (seven of the bar body, two of the central section). In each section two drivers are connected to the circuitry and provide digital dimming capacity alongside 1-10V rotary dimmers. The drivers can be unplugged from a power source and retain the programmed dimming levels, enabling each segment to retain individual illumination and dimming at different locations. 2,200K LED tape washes the bar front from a nosing detail and the Amberlite bar top is uniformly underlit with Applelec’s LED Light Sheet. The back bar bottle step is underlit with LED, and LED profiles are concealed within bar shelving to illuminate the bottle display and add to a layered lighting concept that uses the full height of the central bar.

The Quaglino’s refurbishment involves attention to detail in every aspect of the lighting scheme and the ambience has been created by blending many layers of light with carefully designed bespoke details.


Quaglinos Restaurant - London Copyright - Richard Southall