Interiors agency Agata Kurzela Studio has reworked the highest flooring of a heritage constructing in Abu Dhabi to create offices for an Emirati authorities bureau, which oversees main public structure tasks.
Positioned within the capital’s waterfront space of Khor Al Maqta, the workspace is housed inside the previous Armed Forces Officers’ Club with its distinctive concrete shell designed by French architect Roger Taillibert.
Just lately redeveloped and rebranded as the Erth complex, the event now homes a resort with sprawling sports activities services in addition to a number of workplaces in its central constructing, referred to 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 “essentially the most prestigious developments within the UAE”, though the designer says she “can’t reveal” its identify.
Her studio added a mezzanine stage underneath the roof to deal with exhibition areas, the place upcoming structure tasks could be offered, whereas workspaces are positioned on the ground beneath.
Kurzela says this was essential because the bureau skilled an unprecedented interval of development because the venture unfolded, which means the area needed to be tailored to accommodate 120 individuals relatively than 88 as initially deliberate.
“As soon as the ambitions outgrew the obtainable area, we expanded vertically by including practical 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 wanted to offer a reception area open to the principle constructing whereas offering privateness to the principle workplace,” says Kurzela. “The quantity was a response to each compositional and practical wants.”
“This daring sculptural factor 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 girls’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 beneath, with its partitions manufactured from suspended aluminium chains as an alternative of stable steel.
“It has volumetric qualities when seen from the surface whereas bringing a way of privateness to the area it accommodates,” the designer stated. “The daylight that filters via provides lightness and mysticism.”
The apply sought to rejoice and restore to prominence the constructing’s unique 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 instances obscured by random subdivisions and sometimes misplaced to the customer via the sheer quantity of the constructing. We felt our alternative lay in offering visible steerage and readability, and for the area to really feel like a pure a part of the constructing.”
The designer took the choice to not add ceilings above the open workplaces, serving to to minimise materials waste and permit daylight to permeate these areas.
“Earlier than the refurbishment, the area felt murky, however now it advantages from the skylights and panoramic window, with views in the direction of the Grand Mosque,” she stated.
The studio additionally used super-thin LED mild 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 not possible.
All through the venture, there was an emphasis on regionally produced components together with acoustic glass partitions, furnishings within the govt areas and cushions woven by a collective of Emirati artisans utilizing a standard method referred to as sadu.
The fabric palette brings collectively contrasting textures together with tough plaster, patinated gentle metal and woven palm mats, referred to as safeefah.
“It brings a few sense of familiarity, blended with a way of awe present in Ken Adams’s film units for the James Bond collection,” says Kurzela.
The pictures is by Sebastian Böttcher.