Edelman Offices – Dubai

  • Client Edelman,
  • size 10,763 sqft
  • Year 2018
  • Location Dubai, United Arab Emirates,
  • Industry Advertising / Marketing,
  • Design firm Roar was tasked with the office design for Edelman, a global marketing consultant agency, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

    Roar has handed over its second major Middle East office for global communications firm Edelman.

    The Dubai office, a 1,000 square meter-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 Roar designed and delivered in 2016.

    The ‘Civic Square’ – the main reception zone – has a rich hospitality look and feel. 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 amphitheater 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.

    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.

    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 sky- line peeking through floor-to-ceiling 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.

    A study conducted by the University of Texas shows color impacts mood and wellbeing – we wanted to test drive this theory. Blue is the dominant color 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 color transition as you walk through the floor plate this serves as a way finding 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 colors of Interface’s Human Connections range which creates the color transition on the floor – further strengthening the ceiling feature. The desks, joinery and glass partitions all match the color 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).

    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 oft-used 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.

    Design Team: Pallavi Dean and Marcela Munoz
    Project Manager: CBRE
    Contractor: Al Tayer Stocks
    PhotographyPankaj Anand