SMART… sustainable, minimal/modern, aesthetics/artistic, relevant to the Middle East, technology.
The Smart Dubai initiative is anchored in the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to make Dubai the happiest city on earth. Led by Dr Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General of Smart Dubai Office, the government entity was established to initiate and promote an efficient, seamless and impactful city experience. Collaborating with the private sector and government partners, with no place to call home, DWP was tasked with the design of their flagship office in d3 while Summertown Interiors took care of the project’s fit-out. While Smart Dubai spends their day creating initiatives on how to make Dubai a happier environment, DWP’s challenge was to create a happier working environment for the team.
A concept story taking inspiration from shifting dunes to create an organic structure while emphasizing movement and fluidity through the office space; a concept based upon taking influences from the elements.
In terms of the virtual reception, the aim was to maintain Smart Dubai’s philosophy of efficient working by having an un-manned reception. A visitor will interact with the virtual reception by typing in their name and selecting the member of staff they are visiting. The member of staff will be notified by sms. The visitor will then be directed to the relevant meeting space, the desert oasis, or asked to wait at reception.
The perimeter bulkhead of the desert oasis coffee bar includes a LED screen which displays bespoke office announcements or with #smartdubai tweets. All meeting rooms have state of the art video conferencing equipment, promoting wireless technology while leaving clean meeting room tables.
The work space is characterized by landscaping pockets of live landscaping throughout the office. This includes artificial trees made out of dried bark and planter pods for each individual staff member to nurture. Plants have been specifically chosen for their added value to the environment; for example, spathiphyllum lilies were chosen as they act as a natural air purifier.
DWP considered LEED in every step of the design process. Light sensors will turn lights on only in spaces that are being used and only at certain times of the day and CO2 sensors monitor the level of air flow within the meeting rooms.