Aureole, New York

LEDs, halogens and neon light up this sleek and modern restaurant
Posted October 20, 2010
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Lighting designers encountered several obstacles when approaching Aureole restaurant’s new 42nd Street space in New York, chief among them how to contribute to the space’s warm and inviting feel on the first floor of a commercial office building.

The restaurant’s front bar room and public and private dining areas utilize industrial materials, dark woods and decorative fixtures, while a massive wine mezzanine provides an exciting focal point for both front rooms.

Because a series of front windows exposed the entire front bar room to the busy streets, lighting designers used shades during the day and a considerable amount of dimmable LEDs at each table to balance the brightness from outside. During the evening, the shades can be opened to expose the restaurant’s sleek, modern interior to passersby.

Lighting the wine mezzanine – a curved glass wall sitting above the bar and dining areas – required consideration for the appropriate temperature of the wines. In order to create as little heat as possible while still providing drama, designers used neon backlighting and halogen uplighting. Clear and frosted acrylic shelves maximize the glow around the bottles, while a mirrored ceiling creates a double-height illusion when viewed from tables below.

“It’s wine storage, but also an experiential thing,” says Paul Gregory, principal designer, Focus Lighting Inc. (New York). “When you’re sitting down, you pick your wine and the person goes to get it from this mezzanine space. You can see the person walking through from any vantage point.”

In the private dining area, designers employed MR-16 lamps with an amber color and dimmed them to create a warm tone on diners’ faces. Each room also includes a custom acrylic chandelier that contains a series of LEDs.

“It’s all about creating an exciting space where people feel good because they look good,” says Gregory.


Tihany Design, New York

Focus Lighting Inc., New York

PWI Construction, Las Vegas

Boca Flasher Inc., Boca Raton, Fla. (LED)
Belfer, Farmingdale, N.J. (Recessed accents)
Contrast Lighting, Saint-Jean-Chrysostome, Quebec (Recessed accents)
Portfolio Lighting, Peachtree City, Ga. (Recessed accents)
Lightolier, Fall River, Mass. (Track lighting)
Intense Lighting, Anaheim, Calif. (Ingrounds)
QTran, Bridgeport, Conn. (Transformers)
MDL, Philadelphia (Transformers)
Let There Be Neon, New York (Neon)
Lamar Lighting, Farmingdale, N.Y. (Kitchen)
ETC, New York (Dimming system)
Grey Design Studio, Seattle (Decorative lighting)

Eric Laignel, Eric Laignel Photography