Furnishings: custom made on design by the architects
Lighting: Glim by Reda Amalou Design, Meshmatics by Rick Tegelaar
Photo credits: Mikael Bénard
Like a journey on the Silk Road, across culinary traditions of the various countries encountered along the way for 8000 kilometers, a route that once connected the Chinese and Roman empires: this is the new Shirvan Métisse restaurant in Doha, designed by the Parisian architecture firm AW2 and helmed by the prize-winning chef Akrame Benallal.
“A place where people can absorb the culture of Qatar, intertwining tradition and contemporary design,” say Reda Amalou and Stéphanie Ledoux, partners of AW2. “Shirvan is an insightful study of experiential space design in which the architecture and the interiors aim to enhance the sensorial experience already provided by chef Akrame’s phenomenal cuisine.”
The venue, with an area of 600 sqm and a capacity of 140 guests, is located in the busy zone of Pearl Marina, the tourism port featuring many premium shops. The restaurant is on two levels and includes a lounge area and a bar, a spacious dining room and terrace zones where visitors enjoy a great view of the sea and the Doha skyline.
There are many references to Qatar and the Arabian tradition of architecture, blending with other influences in a voyage through the countries once crossed by caravans on the Silk Road. The protagonist of the space is a giant wall panel that resembles the mashrabiya, the wooden latticework that often adorns Arabian windows, loggias and balconies, utilized for purposes of ventilation but also as a sort of “veil” to protect privacy. Finely perforated panels are a distinctive feature of the interiors, creating intimate pathways underlined by soft lighting, provided only where necessary.
The heart of the restaurant is an octagonal two-story space, with an open kitchen offering a view of the chef at work. Olive trees and spices reference the colorful food markets of the region, floor-to-ceiling arched windows frame the view of the port, while suspension lamps in mesh with a Yemenite motif in perforated brass on the ceiling create sophisticated games of light and shadow, in a space that is transformed from day to night, offering constantly new and unique sensations.