Kitopi Headquarters: A case of post-pandemic workspace

For a company named after the term ‘Kitchen Utopia’, its headquarters would also be imagined as something out of a fantasy. Not only does Kitopi Headquarters meet those expectations, but also uses being a cloud-kitchen business to its advantage. Amongst its distinctive features are the daily buffets Kitopi offers its employees and the design of the canteen in question. 

Like the design, Kitopi has been crossing business benchmarks since its inception in 2018, and One Central – a mixed-use development in Dubai’s Central Business District is an apt and strategic locale for its expanding needs and clientele. 

Such a remarkable success story in food tech deserves a multifunctional workplace with a modern, playful, and efficient kitchen design, and that was delivered by Kitopi’s own Ranime Loutfi and Spencer Interiors & Contracting LLC.

Collaboration Insights

Extending hands for a third-time collaboration, Kitopi appointed Spencer Interiors & Contracting LLC to develop its office fit-out with Kitopi’s Lead Architect and Interior Designer, Ranime Loutfi. “We have had a long-standing relationship with Ranime and Kitopi since 2019; it has been enjoyable each time we collaborated. She is always excited about bringing new ideas and materials in every project we worked on,” testifies Sunil Kumar, Senior Business Development Manager, Spencer Interiors.

Spencer Interiors has delivered more than ten offices in One Central, and they used the experience to work collaboratively with Ranime – from the concept stage to completion. Kitopi developed the overall architectural and concept design, and Spencer overlooked MEP and technical design.

The Brief

Kitopi wanted the workplace to reflect the design learnings from the pandemic; hence the vision was to have an open, bright space that caters to all employees – regardless of how they contribute to Kitopi and how they go about their work. The aspiration was to be the first in Dubai to have an “agile” workspace design. “The space was created with the team’s specific needs in mind. It included a variety of shared spaces that workers can move between freely, but also have quiet and private spaces that encourage and support solo activity. One of the main ideas was to allocate different departments but still have an easy flow within them to increase collaboration,” Ranime states.

Another aspect was to subtly display the quality of Kitopi’s kitchen, the freshness of their kitchen, and their innovative technology. “Being a cloud kitchen business, Kitopi wanted to have daily buffets for all employees, and since the space was not built for kitchen services – it was both interesting and challenging to plan the joinery and MEP services in the space as we had limitations in the overall height,” reveals Dina Nosseir, Senior Interior Designer at Spencer Interiors.

The Outcome

Project Duration: Six months, including the design development, authority approvals and construction

Project Area: 23,000 sq. ft.

For an optimised time, many materials were ordered in advance, and drawings’ details were given special attention. 

To familiarise and orient visitors from their first step in, the space is inaugurated with Kitopi cafe. “Serving is at the heart of what the team does, so it should be the first thing you see. At the reception, they are greeted with custom tile work on the floor reading ‘THIS IS KITOPI’ – a reminder of the Kitopi Pride – of how we work, collaborate and have fun,” expresses Ranime.

After the reception, the office breaks into two parts—the right side sports working spaces for the tech and product team. To sprinkle team spirit on this side, a small stage acts as an open, collaborative, multifunctional space and a meeting point.

At the left, a conference room, an auditorium, open and closed meeting rooms, collaborative workstations, a photo studio, and a communal table make for an ideal teamwork-fostering environment. From there, a fully functional canteen with buffet stations and Kitopi’s command centre occupies space.  

Spencer joinery’s magic can be marvelled at the clean finishes and cuts of the stepped seating of the amphitheatre, the booth seating, and the café counters, to mention a few. “The space I enjoyed designing the most is the amphitheatre and the conference room. Detailing the amphitheatre as a joinery piece was fun to problem solve,” Ranime mentions beamingly.

“Every time we visit the office, the cafe, which allows hot-desking, is most occupied for meetings. Apart from that, the collaborative spaces, amphitheatre, booths, podcasting and photography studio were predicted hits”, Dina says.

Material Play

As novel as the tech-powered and multi-brand restaurant is its 3600 sq. ft. café and canteen. The space flaunts fun patterns made of breeze blocks that are otherwise used as exterior finishes.

The meeting room sees a revival of rectangular glass blocks as a partition. Perhaps the association with food makes it look as delectable as ice, or the clear, reflective quality of glass brings in a new dimension – either way, it makes for an enrapturing visual. In juxtaposition, the neon ‘what’s cookin’, good lookin’ on the feature wall imbues an urban twist. 

“The most fun we had was playing with the different finishes and materials, from breeze black to glass blocks and mesh walls,” reveals Ranime. “The vivid colour palette of the headquarters represents the different shades of Kitopi. Teal, for instance, is our primary colour, but I also added other colours through the furniture selection, enhancing the look and feel. Plants complimented wood-looking vinyl flooring, adding warmth to the space. In my designs, I often look to evoke happy feelings.”

Comfort First

Kitopi Headquarters sways from conventional office furniture. Alongside being dynamic and vibrant, a requisite for specification was that the pieces had to be comfortable and homey. “We have a combination of sofas, swings, rocking chairs, reclining chairs, and table combos. We tried to select furniture that brings back the stainless steel of the kitchens, such as the tables from Hay Design,” expresses Ranime.

Maybe now, we could request Kitopi to open its headquarters in the Metaverse? So that the next time we order from them, we can enjoy their food in reality and the space virtually!

Article info


Date added:

14 March, 2023

Related Articles