Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ), one of the leading British architectural and design practices based in the UAE, has handed over the new headquarters building of Abu Dhabi developer Miral following the completion of its fit-out work.
The new office explores a progressive work environment with unconventional spaces that create an inspiring and efficient environment where employees enjoy the space they are in, which in turn leads to greater productivity.
A first for the region, a stainless steel indoor slide, which runs from the first floor to the ground floor, adds a sense of playfulness to the workplace, says GAJ.
Another dominant design feature is the open red stairway. This industrial looking staircase sits on a raised concrete plinth which also serves as informal seating and acts as a social connection between the two levels. The rawness of the red oxide metal and the concrete is balanced by the colours of the soft seating, it states.
Jason Burnside, partner at GAJ, says: “The office space of today is focused on balance. It is an environment designed to inspire employees so they enjoy coming to work and are much more productive while they are in the office. The slide is designed to recreate the element of risk-taking and independence just as it does in children, which in turn helps foster revolutionary ideas, promote interaction and connectivity.”
Spread over two floors, the new office is fluid and flexible with open workspace concepts, engaging spaces and collaboration nodes. The raised access flooring system with ceiling voids has been designed to house the building infrastructure to ensure the space stays flexible for potential future changes.
Burnside elaborates: “Single and double seater booths are equipped with AV connections to allow for virtual meetings with a giant projector screen installed at one end to allow the area to be quickly converted into a presentation zone.
“Continuing the industrial theme, greyscale has been used as the basic palette punctuated by vibrant splashes of colour – most notably, the bright yellow individual booths that are cleverly recessed into the interior walls.”
Burnside says the stark neutral tones of the raw concrete is interspersed with black metal and warm wood accents.
“The design, throughout, is characterised by an unconventional selection of materials, finishes and furniture to create unique spaces for a distinctive spatial perception,” he adds.