DWP completes design for Smart Dubai’s new office in d3

Interior design firm DWP has used wooden organic structures and greenery to provide a bright workspace for Smart Dubai’s new office in Dubai Design District.

When Smart Dubai, a city-wide initiative to make Dubai “the happiest city on earth”, decided to move to its permanent home in Dubai Design District, the design team at dwp was challenged to translate its progressive vision into a multi-functional and collaborative space.

The client also wanted its design to tie back to the Middle East but without being too literal. Taking inspiration from shifting sand, the designers created several organic structures throughout the space. An intricate ceiling at the entrance and wooden slats that surround the coffee bar area are the main design features. Designed in Revit, each wooden slat needed to be individually created and produced to follow the form.

“The entire concept was based on elements of the UAE and a story rooted in the Middle East. We were looking at shifting sands, a meandering creek, and desert oasis,” says Nadine Abedzadeh, interior designer at dwp, adding that all these elements were used as subtle references.

Previously Smart Dubai was renting an office in Emirates Towers so the client wanted its new permanent space to feel more like home and be flexible enough to meet future needs.

“They wanted to have space where staff will be efficient and enjoy working,” Abedzadeh tells CID. “Future expansion was addressed from the early stages of design and has been allowed for in terms of MEP requirements. The current state allows for 42 staff, which can increase to 60.”

Spanning 1,800m2, new Smart Dubai office occupies an entire floor in building 1 in d3. Inspired by the Dubai Creek, the central walkway meanders through all areas of the office, making them easily accessible and connected.

Moving away from the traditional entrance layout, the designers placed casual seating area and hanging bubble swing chair set against screen partitions made of natural rope. To the right sits a virtual reception with a touch screen, which helps navigate all visits to the office.

“An unmanned reception directs visitors to the relevant space, whether that be to a meeting room or the coffee bar oasis, which allows visitors to interact with the space. Visitors type in their name and who they want to visit and employees are then informed by SMS that their visitor has arrived,” explains Abedzadeh.

Right by the entrance sit three glass-enclosed executive offices, adorned with more casual lighting pendants and quirky accessories while on the left designers placed acoustic pods for individual focused working.

“To make space feel more comfortable, we included table and floor lamps that are not typical for corporate spaces, such as cork pendant lights,” she says.

Interestingly, 90% of all walls, including glass partitions and concrete walls are writeable.

Natural materials, including solid oak timber and white oak veneer, concrete and natural rope, were used throughout the office. The warm and neutral colour scheme is accented with splashes of the Smart Dubai signature blue colour and natural greenery.

Along with an open-plan working space, the team also provided a range of working and meeting spaces.

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