Interiors agency Agata Kurzela Studio has reworked the highest ground of a heritage constructing in Abu Dhabi to create places of work for an Emirati authorities bureau, which oversees main public structure tasks.
Situated within the capital’s waterfront space of Khor Al Maqta, the workspace is housed inside the previous Armed Forces Officers’ Membership with its distinctive concrete shell designed by French architect Roger Taillibert.
Just lately redeveloped and rebranded because the Erth advanced, the event now homes a lodge with sprawling sports activities amenities in addition to a number of places of work in its central constructing, known as The Membership.
On the very high stage of this constructing, Dubai-based Agata Kurzela designed a workspace for an Emirati authorities bureau that works on “probably the most prestigious developments within the UAE”, though the designer says she “can’t reveal” its title.
Her studio added a mezzanine stage below the roof to accommodate exhibition areas, the place upcoming structure tasks might be offered, whereas workspaces are situated on the ground under.
Kurzela says this was vital because the bureau skilled an unprecedented interval of development because the challenge unfolded, that means the house needed to be tailored to accommodate 120 folks fairly than 88 as initially deliberate.
“As soon as the ambitions outgrew the out there house, we expanded vertically by including purposeful platforms interconnected by staircases,” Kurzela informed Dezeen.
Beforehand inaccessible gravelled roofs have been resurfaced and opened as much as function breakout areas. The apply additionally added areas for prayer rooms, nursing rooms and ablution areas for performing ritual cleaning earlier than prayer.
Within the entrance space, a daring new quantity manufactured from recycled gentle metal homes two converging staircases to create a connection to the exhibition stage above.
“We would have liked to supply a reception house open to the primary constructing whereas offering privateness to the primary workplace,” says Kurzela. “The amount was a response to each compositional and purposeful wants.”
“This daring sculptural aspect creates a beacon that alerts the doorway and brings order to a number of competing geometries of the unique constructing.”
The metal dice additionally homes a ladies’s prayer room and an workplace on the decrease stage whereas the boys’s prayer room takes the type of a smaller dice that’s perched on high.
This second prayer room was rigorously proportioned to be half the dimensions and half of the opacity because the metal quantity under, with its partitions manufactured from suspended aluminium chains as a substitute of strong metallic.
“It has volumetric qualities when seen from the skin whereas bringing a way of privateness to the house it comprises,” the designer stated. “The daylight that filters by way of provides lightness and mysticism.”
The apply sought to have fun and restore to prominence the constructing’s authentic options, together with the dramatic undulating roof.
“The constructing’s floating roof shelters a construction that initially had a really clear order, seen on the unique plans,” says Kurzela.
“That logic was at occasions obscured by random subdivisions and infrequently misplaced to the customer by way of the sheer quantity of the constructing. We felt our alternative lay in offering visible steering and readability, and for the house to really feel like a pure a part of the constructing.”
The designer took the choice to not add ceilings above the open places of work, serving to to minimise materials waste and permit daylight to permeate these areas.
“Earlier than the refurbishment, the house felt murky, however now it advantages from the skylights and panoramic window, with views in direction of the Grand Mosque,” she stated.
The studio additionally used super-thin LED gentle strips designed by Davide Groppi, which measure as much as 17 metres lengthy, to deliver illumination to areas the place recessing lights in partitions, flooring or ceilings have been inconceivable.
All through the challenge, there was an emphasis on domestically produced parts together with acoustic glass partitions, furnishings within the govt areas and cushions woven by a collective of Emirati artisans utilizing a standard approach known as sadu.
The fabric palette brings collectively contrasting textures together with tough plaster, patinated gentle metal and woven palm mats, often called safeefah.
“It brings a few sense of familiarity, combined with a way of awe present in Ken Adams’s film units for the James Bond sequence,” says Kurzela.
The federal government workplace has been shortlisted within the massive workspace inside class of this 12 months’s Dezeen Awards alongside 210 Euston Street by Common Design Studio.
The pictures is by Sebastian Böttcher.