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Henry Chebaane creates opulent restaurant inspired by Azerbaijan's mineral wealth

by Jak Phillips | 21 Aug 2015

Henry Chebaane has said he drew inspiration from Azerbaijan’s mineral wealth to design JW Marriott Absheron’s new dining establishment OroNero – choosing oil, gold and jewels as a central theme.

Chebaane, the French-born London artist and designer who founded Blue Sky Hospitality, was brought in to design the OroNero (meaning black gold in Italian) restaurant, having created four other concepts for various parts of the hotel in Baku.

Styled like a “high-fashion private jet” the lounge area of OroNero features burnished gold buffalo leather panels, pink gold snake upholstery, black gold leather seats and intricate fretwork panels in ebonised timber. Elsewhere, the prosecco bar, grappa library and salumi kitchen have been clad in black marble with amber veins.

Maintaining the theme of opulence, the main restaurant space has a ‘jewel-box’ motif, with the cooking area enclosed by translucent golden mosaic screens so that only the shadows and movements of the chefs working behind it can be seen by diners.

"The main challenge was that expectations from the public, the hotel operations team and the investors were particularly high for a number of reasons,” Chebaane told CLAD.

“OroNero is the last of five new F&B design concepts delivered by Blue Sky Hospitality at the JW Marriott Absheron Hotel, designed to leverage each other conceptually, operationally and commercially. Being the last of the series to reopen, expectations were high but exceeded."

As is common with his designs, Chebaane has installed a number of his own artworks, including a ‘Golden Beluga’ sculpture; a dozen large raven sculptures that are golden instead of black, overlooking the entrance door; and two dozen life-size black rabbit sculptures scattered around the space, also doubling up as side lamps.

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Henry Chebaane has said he drew inspiration from Azerbaijan’s mineral wealth to design JW Marriott Absheron’s new dining establishment OroNero – choosing oil, gold and jewels as a central theme. Chebaane, the French-born London artist and designer who founded Blue Sky Hospitality, was brought in to design the OroNero (meaning black gold in Italian) restaurant, having created four other concepts for various parts of the hotel in Baku. Styled like
CLD,HHR,HOT,RST,TOU,TVL,ARC,DES
Gold is abundant in the restaurant design and features prominently in the wine cellar / Blue Sky Hospitality
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