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

Office space in Abu Dhabi featuring colourful shapes on the wall, yellow, pink and blue lamps and bright blue seating in a banquet area
(Image credit: Oculis Project )

Dubai-based interior designer Pallavi Dean has created a new office space (opens in new tab) 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. 

Abu Dhabi office design is child’s play

(Image credit: Oculis Project)

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 (opens in new tab) 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.’ 

Office space in Dubai with muted colour palette and bright lights

(Image credit: Oculis Project)

Office space in Dubai with blue and grey furniture

(Image credit: Oculis Project)

Office space in Dubai with playful elements and a dog chair in green

(Image credit: Oculis Project)

Office space in Dubai by Pallavi Dean with large scale monster-like figure in blue and soft furnishings

(Image credit: Oculis Project)

Office space interior with muted colour palette. On the left is a posted of colourful Arabic typography

(Image credit: Oculis Project)

Office interior with traditional office furniture in green and grey

(Image credit: Oculis Project)

An office breakout zone with colourful furniture

(Image credit: Oculis Project)

A corridor with all-white walls, floors and ceiling with colourful typographic posters on the walls and the blue silhouette of a bear on one side

(Image credit: Oculis Project)

A colourful meeting room with orange and yellow furniture

(Image credit: Oculis Project)

Meeting room with grey and light blue furniture

(Image credit: Oculis Project)

A colourful meeting room with soft cushions in orange and purple and two dog shaped chairs

(Image credit: Oculis Project)

A colourful office room with hanging installation of pink blue and yellow dots on the ceiling and brightly coloured carpet with yellow paths

(Image credit: Oculis Project)

An office room with striped blue carpet, a pink chair and textile animal heads on the walls

(Image credit: Oculis Project)

INFORMATION

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Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.

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