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The main dining room of Cathédrale, where your gaze is immediately drawn to the captivating ceiling installation by Willowlamp

Captivating Illumination

Willowlamp’s theatrical ceiling installation shines at Cathédrale restaurant in Las Vegas

Under the guidance of founder and creative director Adam Hoets, South African bespoke lighting design company Willowlamp, in collaboration with the talented project designers from the Rockwell Group, has crafted two magnificent theatrical lighting installations for Cathédrale. This new Las Vegas restaurant, part of the esteemed Tao hospitality group, opened its doors on May 1, 2023.

For this second iteration of the Cathédrale franchise (with the flagship restaurant found in New York’s East Village), Willowlamp was entrusted with the task of interpreting and reimagining the original restaurant’s design concept for the ceiling of the latest addition. One particular element of the original design that served as a reference point for Hoets was the wire-mesh ceiling installation created by Italian artist Eduardo Tresoldi.

Inspired by the Fillmore East, a Yiddish theatre turned legendary concert hall known as the “Church of Rock and Roll,” the flagship restaurant’s interior design exudes a captivating blend of theatricality, glamour, church aesthetics, and rock influences.

The main dining room of Cathédrale, where your gaze is immediately drawn to the captivating ceiling installation by Willowlamp
Step into the main dining room of Cathédrale, where your gaze is immediately drawn to the captivating ceiling installation by Willowlamp

This concept of a theatrical rock venue within an elegant church was one of the driving forces behind Hoets’s design process. He explains, “Drawing from the architectural references found in cathedrals, I delved into the geometries, motifs, and references used in their design. From there, I extracted and developed the ideal architectural language and framework for this project. That’s why you’ll feel completely immersed in an abstract construction reminiscent of a cathedral.”

Upon entering the restaurant’s dining room, visitors are awestruck by the dramatic and theatrical installation, featuring the first of the two canopies made of beaded chains. The chain canopy spans an astonishing 40 kilometres in length and weighs nearly 3,000 kilograms. Above the bar area, the second installation showcases an impressive arrangement of 22,000 chains, suspended in mid-air.

Willowlamp's theatrical ceiling installation steals the show at the 266-seat Las Vegas location, leaving visitors in awe.
Willowlamp’s theatrical ceiling installation steals the show at the 266-seat Las Vegas location, leaving visitors in awe.

While similar endeavours often require up to two years from planning to completion, the Willowlamp team successfully carried out this monumental task in just eight months. These two colossal installations are a testament to Hoets’s architectural background, allowing the versatile designer to create structures that rival the grandeur of the cathedrals that inspired them. Hoets describes them as having “a commanding presence that transports you through their magical realism.”

The installations within Cathédrale represent just a fraction of Willowlamp’s portfolio, which includes numerous unique creations adorning residential and hospitality spaces around the world.

A detailed view of the  chain canopy designed by Willowlamp
A detailed view of the chain canopy designed by Willowlamp