The Peacock Room

The Flaming Beacon


Paying homage to the original Peacock Room located in a museum in Boston, the 220m2 Shanghai counterpart, opened in January 2018, distills the key elements of the original; the shelves, the vases, the art, and the integrated lighting to create a dramatic spatial re-construction.

The design brief was to push even further, the already overtly decorative Anglo-Asian original, into its new context, without reverting to cliché. 

Reinterpreting the peacock’s colourful plumage as a series of decorative lighting interpretations, sitting within the context of a tightly integrated lighting design background, sat at the heart of the lighting design approach.

On arrival, one enters through a dark compressed peacock blue corridor space, with a bespoke brass chandelier providing the focal point. The journey continues through a wine cellar, from which the visitor emerges into a copper bar anchoring one end of the main dining space. Above the bar is a large circular mirror ceiling, which during early evening reveals itself to be an infinity mirror chandelier, detailed with an abstracted peacock feather backlit graphic. 

The main dining space is enclosed by brass shelving with Integrated lighting to the copper latticework and to the faces of plain white bone china vases, echoing the original room. During late evening some of these vases reveal concealed internally illuminated images. A row of bespoke brass pendants march down the centre of the dining space providing flattering light to diners and crisper light to food. 

A semi-private dining space anchors the other end of the main space featuring a bespoke chandelier, partially coated in dichroic film, referencing the iridescent peacock feathers. This cascading form acts as a counterpoint to the virtual, inverted form, above the bar.

The VIP room’s decorative brass ceiling structure seamlessly integrates a grid of bespoke ceiling lights that illuminate the leather ceiling whilst providing area light. The unexpected occurs at the beginning of the meal, when part of the ceiling light separates from its base and drops down over the dining table to create a more intimate dining experience. 

The vanity of the peacock is finally played out in the bathroom. Upon entering, the guest finds themselves in a monochromatic space. Spending too much time at the mirror pruning oneself, triggers a sensor in the bathroom, dimming the room lights and introducing an explosion of orange and amber backlighting onto the otherwise bland tile walls. 

Fully dimmable LEDs are used throughout the project.

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