Edelman Dubai

Edelman Dubai

Architect
Roar (formerly Pallavi Dean Interiors)
Location
Dubai, UAE | View Map
Project Year
2018
Category
Offices
Pankaj Anand
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Side tablesLapalma
SofaLigne Roset
LightingAxolight
LightingFlos
LightingVibia
LightingEstiluz

Product Spec Sheet
Side tables
Sofa
Lighting
Lighting
by Flos
Lighting
by Vibia
Lighting
by Estiluz

Edelman Dubai

Roar (formerly Pallavi Dean Interiors) as Architects

Edelman’s Dubai office is a network of ‘Cultural Villages’ with distinct personality yet united by a common thread

DUBAI (August 2018)  Roar has handed over its second major Middle East office for global communications firm Edelman. The Dubai office, a 1,000 square  metre-space located in the prestigious DMCC ONE JLT building, is the hub for Edelman’s creative and commercial teams; and builds on the success of Edelman’s Abu Dhabi office, which PDI designed and delivered in 2016.

 

“One of the big design challenges with Edelman Dubai was to create a link to their Abu Dhabi office, and yet give it a distinct character,” says Pallavi Dean, founder and creative director of Roar. “They loved the ‘Cultural Villages’ concept we developed for Abu Dhabi: the idea of creating separate cities-within-a-city,  such as Soho, Wall Street and Harlem in New York. But we couldn’t just repeat it. So, we took it to the next level in Dubai, adding layers of colour, texture and furniture to give each village more personality,” says Dean.

 

The ‘Civic Square’ – the main reception zone – has a rich hospitality look and feel. “We wanted people to feel like they were walking not into an office, but a boutique hotel,” says Marcela Munoz, associate with Roar and one of the lead designers on the project. A custom-made wall installation by Emirati designer Khalid Shafar, uses the Iqal worn by local men. The art installation is used to create a visual representation (in Morse code) of Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s quote at the Arab Media Forum 2018: “To harness all efforts to serve the country and the citizen wherever it is”.

 

The main work zone, where most staff sit, is more playful, rich with a vibrant ombre colour scheme. The ‘Urban Park’ is different again. This is a public space with an amphitheatre and cafe-style seating – perfect for lunchbreak, informal meetings and monthly company meetings. Capping off the space is what we call the ‘City Lofts’. This is the most mature, sophisticated space in what is otherwise a quite playful project. It’s a flexible hybrid of a meeting room, co-working space and a private office.

 

Design Notes
PEOPLE
“One of the design dilemmas with a firm like Edelman is that it straddles two worlds: the staff it needs to attract are bright, young, millennial creatives in jeans and t-shirts, yet many of its high-paying clients are senior managers in banks, big companies and the government.

 

The design had to bridge these two demographics; the City Lofts is where they collide,” said Pallavi. Wall art by Emirati artist Zeinab Al Hashemi, based on satellite images of Dubai, grounds the ‘City Lofts’ space in its local context. (Urban Phantasmagoria Series – Reborn.  Satellite Imagery - Print on Photographic paper. Year: 2018).

 

EVIDENCE-BASED DESIGN
The research process for Edelman Dubai is the most in-depth we have conducted. We combined two research methodologies. The first is Roar own UXD (User Experience Design) process, which we had used to great effect for Edelman’s Abu Dhabi office. This takes findings from focus groups, interviews, questionnaires and observation and refines them into a one-page list of priorities. In addition to this, we worked with the workplace psychology team at Herman Miller, using their “Living Office” process. The result was a deep understanding of the needs of senior and junior staff, and a thorough, research-based set of guidelines to frame our design decisions.

 

LOCAL CONTEXT

We balanced the deeply scientific approach to the space planning with an appreciation of local art. Specifically, we commissioned paintings and installations from two Emirati artists: Zeinab Al Hashemi and Khalid Shafar. Elsewhere, the arches in the joinery and doors plus the shallow dome in the reception lobby are a very subtle nod to the Islamic world. All of this helped to achieve one of the design goals for Edelman Dubai: create a sense of space that this is an office in Dubai, not Denver or Düsseldorf, but without resorting to pastiche or cliché.

 

ARCHITECTURAL STATEMENTS
Edelman Dubai starts and finishes with two bold interior architectural statements. At the entrance, the ‘Civic Square’ is the most dramatic space. The sweeping curves in an otherwise linear floorplate punctuated with a shallow dome in the ceiling is a powerful architectural gesture.  To  the back of the space, the eye is drawn to the skyscraper skyline peeking through floor-toceiling windows. The impression is very much that of the lobby of a boutique design hotel, with a blend of custom-designed pieces and designer furniture. The final space is what we call the ‘Urban Park’: more sweeping curves, this time in a step format to create a show-and-tell space for presentations to clients and staff ‘town hall’ meetings. It also doubles as a lounge and café for staff, with café style seating and recessed nooks for discreet conversations.

 

COLOUR
A study conducted by the University of Texas shows colour impacts mood and wellbeing – we wanted to test drive this theory. Blue is the dominant colour in the entrance, reflecting Edelman’s branding. At the other end of the office in the ‘Urban Park’ which has tones of green and pink. In between,  the interior palette has an ombre gradient colour transition as you walk through the floor plate this serves as a wayfinding device and gives each department an identity. The element that connects the entire gradient effect is a series of ceiling baffles that rotate slightly to create a dynamic movement through  the space.

 

The flooring features different colours of Interface’s Human Connections range which creates the colour transition on the floor – further strengthening the ceiling feature. The desks, joinery and glass partitions all match the colour of the zone they ‘live’ in. Most of the Edelman Dubai office has a fresh, young, vibrant look and feel: We have a ‘go bananas’ creative lounge (wallpaper by Mr Perswall) and a ‘hanging monkeys’ phone booth room (wallpaper by House of Hackney).

 

FURNITURE
We provided a wide range of working options: sitting desks, standing desks, individual office spaces and informal collaboration spaces, as well as rooms with a dedicated technical function, such as a green room for video and TV filming. We’ve aimed to create an eclectic mix with the furniture scape - refraining from the oftused commercial  desking  and seating systems. For the workstations, we made a conscious effort to vary the material and the shape of the desks. Some worktops are white while others are in wood each with a custom colour accessory to reflect the zone it sits in.

 

Each ‘village’ has a variety of work positions, with each straight run of desks you will find an arched standing workstation. Task chairs are by Vitra, with a broad variety of lighting products used: Flos,  Estiluz, Studio Italia, Aromas del Campo, DCW editions, Seletti, Excloosiva, Petite Friture, Vibia, Zerolighting, Axo Light, and Mathieu Challieres. For the Civic Square reception area to create the impression of walking into a boutique design hotel, we’ve used the curved forms of a Lignet Roset sofa and Driade armchairs coupled with La Palma side tables.

 

Material Used :
1. Vitra - Task Chairs
2. Flos - Lighting
3. Estiluz - Lighting
4. Studio Italia - Lighting
5. Aromas del Campo - Lighting
6. DCW editions - Lighting
7. Seletti - Lighting
8. Excloosiva - Lighting
9. Petite Friture - Lighting
10. Vibia - Lighting
11. Zerolighting - Lighting
12. Axo Light - Lighting
13. Mathieu Challieres - Lighting
14. Lignet Roset - Sofa
15. Driade - Armchairs
16. La Palma - Side tables

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