Abu Dhabi office design is child’s play

Abu Dhabi office design is child’s play

Unleash your inner child and explore interior designer Pallavi Dean’s playful and colourful new office space for Abu Dhabi’s Early Childhood Authority

Dubai-based interior designer Pallavi Dean has created a new office space for the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA). Based in Al Mamoura tower, the 1,800 sq ft office blends cutting-edge workspace design with playful elements, creating an inspiring space for the staff of the early childhood development institution. 

‘The key challenge was to design a space that captures attention with the playful nature of childhood, while at the same time being a mature office,’ says Dean. She has created more than 80 interior projects across the region, spanning commercial, hospitality and residential, for clients including McKinsey & Company and the American University of Sharjah, and her spaces are infused with colour and personality. Having founded her interior design practice Roar in 2013, she combines what she defines as ‘tame and wild’ approaches, to create human-centered experiential spaces. 

The new office design merges these two attitudes well: ‘We had to keep in mind that we were not designing a space for children: it is a space for adults who are making decisions about children,’ explains Dean. ‘The design thread is based on the synapses of a child’s brain: a series of hubs connected by organic, flowing walkways.’ Her design employs a bright palette developed with a colour psychologist, and it includes orange spaces to inspire energy and blue spaces for relaxation. The eclectic interior includes office furniture by Herman Miller, Steelcase and Artifort.

Each space was designed individually, with bespoke touches, such as soft furnishings shaped like the alphabet, and animal-shaped furniture from the likes of Magis and Vitra. Elements nodding to the location’s heritage include typography on the walls and Arabic script of the ECA logo on the staff lockers. 

‘The goal was to create a space that was child-focused – but not childish,’ concludes Dean. ‘With the help of a client who was involved every step of the way, we think we’ve raised the bar for an education-focused workspace.’ §

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