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The Elegance Of an Oceanic Inspired Design.


Hello dear readers, I hope you guys had a great week. As you may know by now, I always look for outstanding design projects inspired by the most incredible concept. Therefore, for this week article, I will present to you an amazing restaurant based on an oceanic inspired design. This organic themes allowed the space to be a melting pot of elegant aesthetic and functionality.


Located on the top of the iconic Dubai Opera. Sean Connolly is a restaurant, bar, and courtyard in the heart of Dubai. The venue includes a raw bar, a contemporary brasserie, a main bar, dining areas, private dining, chefs tables, and external bar, with direct views of the Burj Khalifa. Sean Connolly is the perfect place for those who enjoy a tasty meal, amazing view, and breathtaking design.


Designed by the well-known firms Alexander &CO and Tribe Studio, this conceptual project took a different turn before reaching its final stage. The design DNA was developed from what was initially a coarse Tasman inspiration, based on the rugged, worn, sun-bleached environment. But due to the realities of many Dubai Opera stakeholders and their own ambitions, the restaurant was finally shaped to become more refined, perhaps a bit more delicate.


In order to achieve this oceanic inspired salon, major edifice such as the TWA Terminal at JFK airport by Eero Saarinen and Sydney Opera House were explored in the design process as examples for their geometric shells, irregular shapes, and scales. The restaurant is the perfect representation of Alexander&Co personal interest in 20th Century Classic design and architecture combined with the oceanic Australian/New Zealand influences of Sean Connolly’s cooking.


Each design element within the venue explores ideas from the ocean, from the oyster with its combination of smooth sensual surfaces and textured outer surfaces, to the oceanic tones and colors of corals and pearlescent hues that guide the eye.





The main spaces are focused upon the central cocktail Pearl Bar, constructed from grey leather, walnut timber, and yellow marble. The grey marble banquettes with their pink leather are reminders of the delicate contrasts of the ocean corals and sea creatures while the raw and fire bars remind us of the outer edges of blackened seashells.




Vaulted ceiling tiles which reference both the inside of an oyster and the Sydney Opera House sails were manufactured from templated GRC and hand-tiled from Australian supplied ceramic tiles, the combination of mate and gloss tiles, in their own right both very inexpensive, become jewel-like and reflective.


Jacqui Fink's Merino Wool hanging artwork

Jacqui Fink, an international pioneer of ‘extreme knitting’ created a custom 6m high Merino Wool hanging artwork as a nod to the tentacles of sea creatures, delicate and mystical.


With the same idea, local Sydney artist Tracey Deep, known for her floral installations using native floral created three hanging sculptures curated to the oceanic vision. The custom handmade woolen carpet with its blue dappled tones is a depiction of the ocean waters and was custom designed by Alexander &CO for this venue.


In keeping with the 20th Century design inspirations, the classic Serge Mouille lighting has been custom made in curving white steel and brass finishes. Similarly, sculptural and feminine 20th Century furniture were combined in greens, greys, blues, and whites with natural walnut timbers to add significant value to the interest of the overall aesthetic.


That's it guys, I hope you liked this article and the design of this beautiful project. I'll end by showing you pictures of the external bar.



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