Architecture student Faisal U-k bagged the top prize in the recently concluded Employee Cafeteria Re-Design Competition sponsored by Dusit Thani Dubai in partnership with Canadian University Dubai held on the 27th June.
Besting 14 other interior design and architecture students who accepted the challenge to redesign the hotel’s employee cafeteria otherwise known as “Lumpini”, U-k’s concept was direct and elaborately presented, which allowed the judges to fully grasp his concept.
Inspired by Dusit Thani Dubai’s origin, the walls are to be transformed akin to Thailand’s famous scenic spots and beaches. It’s like you are transported to Phuket for lunch.
But more than aesthetics, underlying concepts of sustainability and biophilia were kept in mind by the 23-year-old Nigerian national.
Biophilia is a scientific term described as the connection of humans to nature. It has been confirmed by research to improve the psychological and physiological well-being of a person.
In creating a biophilic environment, U-k proposes improvement in set-up, air quality and light quality.
The air quality can also be improved by using a chimney hood that can clean air while cooking. A better lighting will be obtained with the use of LED lighting and mineral fiber ceiling which is a great light reflector.
“My aim is to create an atmosphere that would simulate an experience of natural ventilation, lighting and vegetation – hence the plants, the kitchen hood, the light fixtures, and the wallpaper”, shared U-k.
Another noticeable change to the layout is the arrangement of chairs and tables. In the original set-up, most of the chairs are facing the wall, limiting staff interaction. U-k created a layout wherein the chairs and tables are in groups for staff to comfortably mingle with each other.
“I placed myself in the staff’s shoes, who access the cafeteria regularly; I imagined what I would want to improve to make the place conducive every lunch break”, U-k added.
The tables and chairs are to be reupholstered using hardy organic hemp, a recycled and biodegradable material produced by green manufacturing processes but without the harmful chemicals as by-products.
“For sustainability, I made sure that instead of buying brand new pieces of furniture, the chairs and tables are to be re-painted with eco paint, and reupholstered with organic hemp”, said U-k.
A systematic sequencing of the place was also proposed to make sure that every part of the cafeteria is used and maximized. Compared to the previous layout, U-k reorganized the layout in a way that the staff shall have an organized route, from the entrance, to the buffet area, to the seating arrangement, to segregating their trash before leaving the place.
“I noticed that the area is quite congested in some parts hence I proposed having two doors, one for the entrance and one for the exit. The trash bins are placed near the exit so they will not forget to segregate before they leave.”
The esteemed panel of judges comprised of Dusit Thani Dubai’s Executive Chef Antonello Manca, F&B Manager Subarna Thapa, HR Director Vagelyn Federico alongside Canadian University Dubai’s Chair of Architecture Steve Denyer and Associate Professor Dr. Hamoud Dekkiche.
This design competition, a true testament to Dusit Thani Dubai’s vision to provide a unique journey in every experience, is a creative collaboration between Dusit Thani Dubai and Canadian University Dubai.
About Dusit Thani Dubai
Dusit Thani Dubai is an iconic 5-star luxury hotel that captures the essence of Thailand in the vibrant centre of this cosmopolitan city, the jewel of the UAE.
The hotel is strategically located just five minutes from Dubai’s main business hub, within walking distance from the nearest metro station and just 15 minutes from the airport. In addition, the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and the world’s largest shopping mall, The Dubai Mall, are just a short walk from Dusit Thani.
About Dusit Hotels and Resorts
Dusit International has more than 65 years’ experience in the hotel and hospitality ﬁeld, founded in 1949 by Honorary Chairperson Thanpuying Chanut Piyaoui whose ﬁrst hotel was the Princess on Bangkok’s New Road. Dusit Hotels and Resorts, a division of Dusit International, has since acquired a unique portfolio of distinctive hotels, building upon Thai culture and tradition to create a personalized welcome for all guests made distinctive under the Dusit International brand promise; the delivery of an ‘experience that enlivens the individual spirit, no matter the journey’. Dusit Hotels and Resorts comprises four hotel brands: Dusit Thani, dusitD2, Dusit Princess and Dusit Devarana, as well as its own signature Devarana Spa.