Found on the 68th floor of the JW Marriot Marquis in Dubai, Weslodge Dubai is a truly unique offering. In the tallest hotel building in the world, Weslodge Dubai has remarkable views of the cityscape of Dubai.
The Weslodge brand began in Toronto, Canada and was started by Icon Legacy, who then wanted to bring this concept outside of Canada. “The first location they thought of was Dubai because of the great opportunity there,” commented Ken Lam, Principle at Navigate Design and Lead Designer on the project.
The initial concept design began in 2015 with Weslodge Dubai opening last year to great feedback. “The branding concept for the whole Weslodge style is a rugged chic. There’s a tag line we use, ‘When Ralf Lauren meets Rock ‘n’ Roll,’ which encapsulates the entire attitude of Weslodge from the interior to the menu,” added Ken.
With around 10,000ft2 to work with in a rather unique shape, Ken and his team designed Weslodge Dubai to make the most of the distinctive space.
“The space is quite an obscure shape as it is curved on both sides with a curved centre core that houses the elevators and stairs. It’s all glass as well so it has a 360o view of the city,” commented Ken.
“Guests arrive in the main elevator to the ‘Sky Lobby’ which is more of a reception area than a typical restaurant entrance. It’s a very moody, open area with dimmed lighting to create this atmosphere. We used one of the signature elements found within the Weslodge Toronto site which is a large yellow door. This yellow door marks the entrance to the Weslodge Dubai site, which then opens up into this beautiful bar.”
“The 33ft long bar hugs the inside wall and has little vignettes across from it that are created from structural columns that are along the window side. These are designed to be like small living rooms and each section has a different style. Guests can feel close to the bar scene but can also feel quite intimate within the booth area with full height windows looking out into the city. We did this so guests can feel like they own that little pocket of space whilst they are at Weslodge Dubai,” added Ken.
The bar itself is made of oak with a vintage feel to it from the wood grain coming through the paint. The flooring also uses a dark, honey oak with a herringbone pattern which sets the tone of warmth found within Weslodge Dubai. Satin lacquered wall panelling is used throughout to create a sense of luxury in the space and a darker blue panelling with a Victorian pattern motif at the top is used in the ‘Blue Room.’
“The ‘Blue Room’ is made up of the two back dining rooms that hug the end of the curve of the restaurant. It’s more of a formal dining area that can be closed off using heavy drapery. The inner dining room in this area has an open fire display and a glass window allowing guests to see right into the kitchen and watch great display cooking. The menu heavily features meat so we invested in a 12ft long charcoal grill, imported from the States, so when the chefs are cooking guests can see the flames,” commented Ken.
One of the more unique features of Weslodge Dubai is the specially curated artwork such as the skulls and taxidermy. Each vignette has a tall, glass cabinet filled with vintage objects such as books, telescopes and typewriters that have been curated from local vintage markets. There are 150 art pieces that are used in the entire space, giving guests plenty to see.
“Something completely special for Weslodge Dubai are the VIP knives that we commissioned from an African knife maker. They are all the same blade with an engraving of the Weslodge logo but each knife has a different handle. Every handle is made out of a different antler so when a VIP member orders a steak they will be presented with their own knife which is something exclusive particularly for the Dubai market,” added Ken.
“Navigate Design is a relatively new company and Weslodge Dubai is the first restaurant we’ve done in the UAE. We loved this opportunity to work outside of Toronto.”
Marwan Furniture specialise in the manufacture of hospitality and contract furnishings, including soft seating, case goods and soft furnishings. Marwan Furniture has been in operation for just under 30 years, starting with just two people, before developing into a company employing more than 130 people.
Over the past three decades, Marwan Furniture has worked on numerous projects within the GCC region, including Big Smoke Burger, Lexus Intersect and Brass, amongst others. Most recently, Marwan Furniture has been involved with Weslodge, manufacturing all soft seatings in close co-ordination with the designers and the project management, ensuring timely completion.
Renzy Jamal, Managing Director of Marwan Furniture, said:
“While challenges invariably crop up, at Marwan Furniture we pride ourselves on the quality of our work, as well as our commitment to delivery.”