QUICKFIRE QUESTIONS: Calvin Janse van Vuuren
Suppose you’ve managed to tear your eyes away from the delights you’re devouring at Hunter & Barrel UAE. In that case, we hope you were intrigued by our restaurant’s décor. Taking its cues from our Australian roots and the rustic authenticity of the ancient hunter-gatherer. We wanted our Dubai restaurant to stand out for its opulence with sumptuous textures steeping in and striking installations and furnishings. Hunter & Barrel at Vida Hills was crafted as an ode to Middle East hunting methods – From the traditional fishing nets draping off our ceilings to the eight-metre composite archery bow installation that you cannot miss above our bar.
Let Calvin Janse van Vuuren, our senior consultant for our design team, explain a little more about Dubai’s best steak restaurant aesthetics.
What was your mood board for Hunter & Barrel UAE?
We instinctively tended to a more natural, textured concept using Hunter & Barrel’s “hunt, gather and fire” philosophies. We knew that we needed to bring a level of opulence into the first UAE venue with rich colours and velvet materiality. It was also imperative to convey the emotion behind Hunter & Barrel’s core principles – celebrating life’s simple moments and encouraging connections over shared food.
What are the key design elements we should look out for?
Falconry is a very well documented hunting method throughout the Emirati history. We celebrate this with the falcon hood installation you will see in the main dining area, which are ‘blinders’ used to shield the birds from light changes. A hand-woven pattern rope tinted in rich red descends from the four-metre ceiling to create a relaxing space and assist with acoustics.
Traditional Al Halaq or Al Tahweet fishing nets formed the basis of the two-metre high rope installations in the library lounge, using hombre colours to reference the UAE’s colourful coral reefs. This creates a point of interest and a sense of playfulness, bringing softness to the space when light bounces off the net.
Finally, the central eight-metre tall archery bow installation we have suspended above the bar references Arab’s affiliation with archery. This dramatic wooden piece is the beacon of the space, demanding attention from all angles of Hunter & Barrel UAE and drawing every diner into the overall restaurant aesthetics.