// arthitectural / Interiors / Jestico & Whiles | Aqua Shard

Jestico & Whiles | Aqua Shard

Interiors Jestico & Whiles | Aqua Shard

The appointment

INTO were appointed as lighting designers following an interview process and portfolio presentation. Client David Yeo chose us to work alongside UK architects Jestico & Whiles to realise his vision for this panoramic restaurant in the Shard. Previously a high-end Hong Kong Lawyer, David Yeo is now an established restaurateur and looked to The Shard to broaden his Aqua restaurant group and open a sister to the Hong Kong Aqua establishment.

Jestico & Whiles | Aqua Shard

© Paul Winch-Furness


Into Lighting were tasked with creating a theatrical and dynamic lighting scheme in line with the client’s ideas. The design was to comprise of a main bar and atrium area, two restaurant areas, circulation spaces and private dining areas. The lighting was to evolve throughout the day and night to enhance the function of each space whilst keeping glare and reflections to a minimum – a real concern with the floor to ceiling windows and the stunning views.

The lighting design needed to enhance the plush and high quality material and finishes specified for the interiors. All elements of the lighting scheme needed to be subtle and carefully controlled to ensure a dramatic and intimate feel to the venue was maintained. It was important to provide flexibility to change the illumination depending on the function within each of the spaces.

Jestico & Whiles | Aqua Shard

© Paul Winch-Furness


As you enter the venue, you are immediately in the main bar and lounge area. In this space the lighting is extremely minimal, the key illumination within the atrium space is provided by bespoke pendants over the banquette seating and bespoke pendants in the window line to draw your eye out to the magnificent view. These pendants were designed by the client himself. The other main element of the space is the vast bar which is clad in metallic and marble finishes on the facades and a black marble top. The sides of the bar are washed with LED fittings located on the underside of the bar nosing to accentuate the materials. Concealed warm white LED tape illuminates the main bottle step feature which extends to the ceiling whilst also providing working light for the staff.

To meet the theatrical lighting brief and provide the main accent lighting within the main restaurants, very low glare adjustable downlights with honeycomb louvres were specified. The fittings were focused onto tables with minimal lighting to circulation areas avoiding unnecessary lighting of floor space. These use low voltage halogen reflector IRC lamps chosen for their colour rendering properties whilst being able to be dimmed to a very low level. These were also specified due to the very tight beam angle available as the client was very specific on the effects and ambiance he was after. All lighting was specified in black to help visually mix in with the black ceiling, the idea being that the light sources were to have as little visual impact as possible. The use of honeycomb louvers was another aspect of reducing the glare.

Jestico & Whiles | Aqua Shard

© Paul Winch-Furness

The private dining rooms were again illuminated with the low glare fittings, with all downlights focusing onto the tables. Bespoke crystal chandeliers were manufactured by Tom Kirk to the client’s specification and are suspended above the tables to help create intimacy and privacy whilst adding to the luxurious feel of these spaces. There are three key feature walls within the space, the first two being the ‘gin’ and ‘tea’ walls on either side of the restaurant displaying various tea and gin containers relating back to the history of the area. These are illuminated with minimal low glare LED fittings with a bespoke Rosco filter to increase the warm light which grazes the front of the displays. The third feature wall is within the ‘gin’ side of the restaurant which acts as a back bar whilst also displaying bell jars containing various Lepidoptera. These are illuminated using a minimal LED profile system which is mounted integrally to the underside of the shelving with concealed warm white LED profiles illuminating the plush silk material to the back walls. It was imperative throughout the design to only illuminate key surfaces and focal points to minimise glare and reflection into the glass which wraps around the entire extent of the space including the WCs, and is the full height of the space.


All lighting within the venue is on a Mode Evolution system with scenes activated via the astronomical time clock to allow the venue to change and evolve throughout the day and night relating to the time of sunset. The lighting can also be controlled via LCD control plates to allow each area to be adjusted individually if required. All LED fittings are controlled via DMX to allow the fittings to be dimmed to a very low level.

Location: London level 31 the Shard, UK
Interior Designer: Jestico & Whiles
Lighting Designers: Into Lighting + David Yeo
Project name: Aqua Shard
Client: David Yeo
Fitting Spec
Lightgraphix: LD256 / LD281 / E1313 LED downlights and miniature LED spotlights
LED Linear: VarioLED Flex ATON Plus / VarioLED Flex ATON Plus IP67
Enigma Lighting: DL711E + DL721D low glare AR111 down lights with honeycomb
Enigma Lighting: EM LED emergency led route lights
Inlico: Bespoke electric sets for client direct feature lighting
Lucent Lighting: Pinhole 90
Zumtobel: Onlite Artsign
Mode: EVO-06-18 and EVO-LCD-55-BK
Osram: 12V Halogen IRC lamps
Tom Kirk – Bespoke glass chandeliers in private dining rooms
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