The entrance to the new Tashas restaurant – on Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton – from the thoroughfare to the mall is celebrated by an eye-catching almost fluid, sculptural installation, designed by Michael Hyam of Smelt Glass Studios. Conceptualised as a representation of the baobab in flower, with its curving branches formed in dark steel and the flowers in folding discs of opaque white glass, this is suspended above the entrance.
Profile spotlights are mounted some seven metres up on the walls to project subtly coloured light across the sculptural installation suspended above the entrance to Tashas at Nelson Mandela Square.
According to Paul Pamboukian of Pamboukian Lightdesign, the company responsible for the lighting design of Tashas, a lot of thought went into positioning this sculptural piece within the space and into how it should be lit.
“We used profile spotlights which are mounted in niches high up on the walls (seven metres up in this double volume) and focused across the space to light up the installation,” Pamboukian explains. At first glance, the sculpture itself appears to hold the light source, but it is catching and reflecting the projected light.
During the day, this is complemented by natural light coming through the clear glazed entranceway to the mall and the glazed arches at the upper level of the building’s façade.
“We also used gobos, which break up the light,” Pamboukian says, “so that at night the projected light from the profile spotlights throws shadows as well as light across the entrance installation and creates the effect, for people in the restaurant, of sitting under a tree.
Softly coloured light is introduced – a soft steel blue and pastel pink – to emphasise the shadowy effect and add to the night-time mood change. The team spent a lot of time testing and selecting the right colours and the client, represented by Natasha Sideris who conceived the original Tashas, was very involved in deciding what worked best.
Essentially, the restaurant covers four zones – the outdoor terrace, entrance, fine dining area and the café. In this installation the lighting design was very much part of the whole interior design process from the start and it was this cooperation, according to Paul Pamboukian, that made the final lighting outcome so successful.