A successful work-life balance may still be a dream for most, but interior design and architecture studio Roar hopes to make it a reality with its latest project at the UAE Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood (SCMC) Abu Dhabi offices. .
The huge space, over three levels, puts the needs of both adults and children at the center of the practical space design. “We wanted the design narrative to subtly refer to the various cultural elements of the region while paying attention to SCMC’s core mission: to promote innovation and creativity in the field of motherhood and childhood,” says Roar founder and creative director Pallavi Dean.
It is a vision that manifests itself in an inviting design, where the children’s daycare center and gym are placed on the same floor as the reception area and exhibition space. The first floor has meeting rooms, a library and a large event space, and the second floor has senior management offices and a meeting room.
Traditional Emirati design codes – reflected in the ambience of the reception area’s outdoor courtyard and the nursery’s focus on craftsmanship – are given a contemporary slant and the details encourage both work and play; the children’s room has a Lego wall and a climbing wall, and there are calm tones throughout. They form a functional foil for classic decorative elements, such as the handmade Sadu – a fabric woven from palm leaves – that decorates parts of the ceiling.
“When designing spaces, we always have the users in mind,” Dean adds. “Here, the interiors remind the decision-makers how their work affects little people. This was done by injecting playful energy into the building’s three floors, with each level offering a unique experience. Several patterns and morphologies have been used throughout to create separate pockets of functionality and key moments in the space. The result is a colorful office space where education professionals can do their work – from in-depth solo work to collaboration – but with a dynamic atmosphere.