INTERIORS

Artemis Grill Restaurant

B+H Architects/CHIL Interior Design was commissioned to undertake full interior design scope for the Artemis Grill Restaurant—a Mediterranean Grill Rooftop Bar & Restaurant offering all-day specialty dining experience with indoor dining and al fresco bar areas located on the 40th floor of CapitaGreen.

Located in the heart of the central business district (CBD), the design intent was to establish the restaurant as a gastronomic sanctuary for sophisticated and diet-savvy executives and professionals who appreciate contemporary Mediterranean cuisine accentuated by nuances of organic and sustainable produce.

With a proposed seating capacity of over 120, the design team infused themes of green and freshness with a touch of elegance and sophistication into the curation of a distinctive rooftop dining experience, away from the hustle and bustle of the congested urban ground.

CONTEMPORARY LIFESTYLE IN A GREEN ENVIRONMENT
Nestled in an environmentally friendly office tower that was awarded Green Mark Platinum by the Building & Construction Authority of Singapore, the Artemis Grill Restaurant complements the surroundings by serving healthy and fresh food in a rooftop forest sanctuary. Infused with green and earthy palettes indoors, the outdoor bar and dining scene is also landscaped with an evergreen 100-year-old olive tree and lush hanging greens throughout.

Targeted at primarily sophisticated executives and professionals working in the CBD, the choice of interiors—from furnishings and lighting to carpeting—exudes an image of sleek elegance and a distinct class on its own. The restaurant is divided into two main zones—indoor and outdoor dining areas—each accompanied with a wine bar. The indoor dining area has open dining spaces and two private rooms catered for small groups seeking privacy, corporate and social events. The diet-savvy diners—including gym-goers in the same building—would appreciate views of the idyllic rooftop outdoor forest, while enjoying organic and sustainable produce.

With an all-day dining Mediterranean menu, indoor and outdoor spaces in the Artemis Grill Restaurant are designed to be multifunctional, which caters for both day and night occasions, business or social functions. Be it a healthy noontime snack after gym overlooking the panoramic views of downtown or an after-work round of social drinks in the outdoor sanctuary, the restaurant is a stone’s throw away from anywhere in the Tanjong Pagar CBD district. This reflects the evolving contemporary lifestyle of work, live and play in the downtown core.

MATERIALS AND RESOURCES
Materials were selected in order to reflect authenticity and sophistication with a subtle touch of elegance. These included natural stone, reclaimed wood and glass. Earthy and green palette tones for furnishings reflect freshness and a sense of tranquillity. As the majority of these materials might not be readily available locally, they had to be procured from outside Singapore. Certain materials such as mosaic tiles, on the other hand, were purchased in the local market as the quality and price range are within the client’s budget and expectations, which also matched the proposed design intent. Hence, stock availability and timeliness of arrival were other important factors in determining the procurement source.

Special resources such as distinctive plant species are a requisite to curating a sense of green and tranquillity in an idyllic outdoor sanctuary infused with Mediterranean elements. Plant decorations, including a 100-year-old olive tree that is native to the Mediterranean region and not commonly seen in the local landscape, had to be imported to offer a truly authentic setting. Purposefully set in the natural wilderness by a century-old foliage, busy executives can unwind over grill and drinks at the rooftop al fresco bar as the Greek goddess of heroic hunts—Artemis—awakens the promises of a gastronomic evening.

APPROACHING CHALLENGES
The project schedule had to be tightened as the client decided to launch the restaurant earlier than expected. Prudent schedule management, including control of materials and resource procurement, had to be well-coordinated with pre-operations planning to launch the restaurant in time for the year-end festive season. The challenge was about how best to translate the original design intent and inspiration into what was available and achievable within a much shorter time frame.

For example, real leather from Italy was initially considered for the sofa upholstery. Due to the ongoing summer holiday in Europe, the supplier could not meet the tight schedule. The next best alternative that was proposed by the design team was a high-quality textured fabric of muted bronze with a luxurious grain. It not only matches the silent opulence of leather, but exudes sufficient warmth and class to curate an equally elegant and inviting dining atmosphere. The transport time was also dramatically reduced given its nearer source in Southeast Asia, eventually allowing the sofas to be custom-made and delivered ahead of schedule.

Another scenario illustrated the challenge and importance of improvising the use of traditional materials to adapt to a site-specific context. Glass is commonly used to create a widened sense of space and allows users who are indoors to engage in interesting sights in the surroundings. Leveraging on its advantageous location at level 40, the restaurant was designed to offer a rooftop dining experience surrounded by panoramic views of the CBD skyline. Glass panels were installed around the restaurant for that purpose. However, the high intensity and penetration of sunlight through the glass panels may result in a wide spectrum of indoor reflection on them if interior surfaces are bright and particularly reflective. This impedes views of the surroundings when looking from inside out, in particular, when rays are exceptionally harsh at noon and when the external surroundings turn dark from the evening until night.

To minimise indoor reflection, the design team proposed a two-pronged approach to the challenge. Firstly, materials for furnishings, flooring and carpeting were thoughtfully selected based on a moderate level of anti-reflective properties while not compromising a sense of liveliness in the dining spaces. Large quantities of natural stone and reclaimed wood together with extensive carpeting in the public dining areas, are used to redress that balance, allowing for a softer dining ambience without being overly dull. Secondly, choosing an appropriate intensity of warm lighting not only complements the setting, but also ensures an adequate level of indoor visibility after dark and keeps the light reflection on the glass panels to a minimum. This provides an immersive visual experience for diners all day long.

CLIMATE RESPONSIVENESS
Due to our warm and humid tropics with frequent showers, climate-sensitive adaption is essential in customising a more enjoyable rooftop al fresco dining experience. Some of these climate-responsive features include post fans that offer cool ventilation when breeze is minimal and stylish vertical umbrellas that offer protection from sun glare and stormy rain. On top of their functionalities, these elements also tie in aesthetically with the existing iconic wind catcher found at the rooftop level, which is dramatic in sculpture.

PROJECT DATA
Project Name: Artemis Grill Restaurant
Location: CapitaGreen, Singapore
Completion Date: December 2015
Client/Owner: Red Door Group
Gross Floor Area: 557 square metres
Interior Design Firm: B+H Architects/CHIL Interior Design
Lighting Consultant: Flair Illume
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Update Asia
Interior Fit-Out Contractor: 8Build
AV Consultant: One Touch Systems
Images/Photos: Red Door Group