An illuminting experience for Tattu's diners
Illuminated rope ceilings, bespoke suspended anchors, glass skull chandeliers and skyscraper pendants, are truly enhancing the dining experience at Tattu Restaurant & Bar, thanks to the expertise of Tyson Lighting.
The contemporary Chinese restaurant is an exciting new addition to the Spinningfields area of the city and is already being described as, “Manchester’s most spectacular restaurant yet”. Inspired by the strong conceptual restaurants found on America’s West Coast – and the vision of Adam Jones in partnership with his brother Drew – the interior has been created to take customers on a visual journey drawing decorative influence from different styles of body art.
Tyson Lighting was chosen to light the distinctive venue and the project has resulted in the company’s largest ever installation of bespoke products – all with their own individuality and high specification demands.
Tyson’s Managing Director, Andrew Gibson, said: “The clients Adam and Drew both had ambitious plans for the look and feel of Tattu. This was certainly apparent in the initial discussions, which included talk of suspended anchors, woven rope lighting and bespoke chandeliers featuring glass skulls encased in cast iron spheres.
“The venue design in itself is very opulent so everything had to be made to the highest quality. We were responsible for bringing some very radical pieces of lighting to life so from a design point of view we set about prototyping the fittings which could, potentially, give us the most headaches.”
The brief on the interior was that it needed to have a low level of ambient light but be cleverly lit to highlight key aspects and design pieces within the building to capture the essence of Tattu. The main colour scheme blends rich earthy tones with sumptuous blacks and golds, so Tyson was instructed to use lighting that would provide a tapestry of light against these surfaces. For general areas, narrow beam spotlights were used to keep the dark appearance, whilst providing adequate light.
Andrew explains: “We fitted many of the products with halogen lamps to provide a flame-like appearance. However, with the building falling under new energy consumption compliance regulations, the use of LEDs was compulsory. So, to match the light to the halogens, we used specialist Soraa lamps which use colour-changing filters to alter the colour temperature of each lamp as required.”
The majority of the lighting products used on the scheme are completely original concepts and Tyson utilised Solidworks software and 3D printing technology to build the prototypes. Plus, with the added benefit of being able to produce lighting schematics, Tyson was able to generate the wiring drawings and assist with establishing the dimming zones which played a major factor in achieving the client’s and architect’s vision on the project.
The rope ceiling, being a special feature in itself, required lighting that highlighted its presence but didn’t create too much ambient light to impact on other features like the illumination of the blossom tree and skyscraper pendants.
Tyson used high-level track mounted spotlights facing upward to flood light onto the ceiling. Spotlights are positioned on the same track to wash down the walls and highlight the textures of the wall panels.
The project didn’t come without its challenges, as Andrew explains: “During initial talks regarding design concepts, one of the ideas was to have a winch fitted to the mezzanine bridge which would allow the anchors to be lowered in the daytime and raised in the evening. Unfortunately the ideal mounting positions of the anchors and location of the bridge became somewhat of a stumbling block. As a compromise and, in fact, a wiser use of space, the anchors have been mounted on rise and fall units behind the rope ceiling which still allows them to be moved up and down on demand.”
The Tattu project had the added benefit of being managed by talented Lighting and Product Design Engineer, Henry Opara from Tyson, who was able to oversee all the supply and fabrication of bespoke and technical lighting.
Henry, a young up-and-coming talent in the lighting industry, has overseen a number of innovative and exciting light projects in the UK with particular focus in the North West including Sakana Restaurant, Manchester and The Art School Restaurant, Liverpool.
Tyson was also on hand during the fitting of the installation with the team’s specialist knowledge of the conceptual products. Henry explains: “Because many of the items were unique, the contractors required assistance with some of the more complex fittings. For example, with the anchors being so bespoke right down to the way the rope had to be tied, I was personally responsible for creating the knots, which could only be done on site, to give them the authentic look required. This needed an element of artistic licence to dress them and achieve the original styles envisioned by the client and architect.
“We believe this project will be recognised as a flagship venue for Tyson because it really shows what we can do as a company.” he added. “We have successfully supplied bespoke and technical lighting on projects nationally and globally for many years but this scheme is so unique, it’s definitely one of the biggest and most challenging we’ve done so far and we are extremely proud of what we’ve achieved.” Adam Jones, managing director at Tattu, said: “Tyson Lighting was the first choice for the restaurant due to the firm’s previous history of high-profile projects in the region. Tyson’s ability to take design concepts, no matter how radical, and turn them into eye-catching pieces, coupled with the company’s experience, has enabled the creation of stunning lighting fixtures for Tattu and we’re exceptionally pleased with the result.”