A Tour of Unbox’s Modern Dubai Coworking Space

Unbox is a Dubai-based creative incubator that provides workspace to independent operators, entrepreneurs, and startups. The interior was completed by interior design company Swiss Bureau.

“The client wanted to create a contemporary space that appears like a creative hub. They wished to have space with flexible features to let the users work in a collaborative office, which could also be transformed into a different layout in case of any special events. The design was thought to facilitate budding entrepreneurs to think big, as the UNBOX team strongly believes that creating co-working spaces help unique businesses to flourish. Swiss Bureau approached this project with the idea to combine the best practices from media, design, and entrepreneurship. The designed layout consisted of a reception space, collaboration area which can be transformed into an events space, a cafe bar, meeting rooms, member offices, hot desk area, phone booths, labs, training room, and storage space. The design follows the concept that is inspired by the UNBOX brand identity. The logo is a playful combination of triangular shapes which seem to be unraveling open, metaphorically suggesting ‘thinking out of the box’. The concept is derived from this metaphor and tied in together with the art of origami to form the basis of the design language, as well as the way the lines and shapes develop the dynamic interior that was needed for a space like this. The 16,000 sq. ft. office space comprises a varied range of workstations – designed for the type of function each caters to. The hot desk area with the views to the Burj Khalifa has custom designed desking, following the same principles developed in the concept. The concept is also translated into the design of the ceiling – warping geometrical shapes in timber cladding glide across and create a pathway and movement within the office. The geometric interpretation of the ceiling into the architecture of the space and the complexity of its implementation is what made this project unique and challenging on many levels. The wood effect was achieved by using an LVT, as well as the way the lines and shapes develop the dynamic interior that was needed for a space like this. Using hues of blue and turquoise with neutral greys and white, the office feels light and fresh, inviting and energizing. Its exuberant color scheme and unusual angles nod to the innovative spirit UNBOX is trying to foster in its users. The whimsy of this creative office extends into the training room where a vibrant stretch ceiling with playful graphics meets casual furniture and warm wood flooring. Conjuring images of Caribbean seas, the combination of tones of turquoise paired with white, black and oak wood, forms out palette and creates a classic comfortable idea of beauty. What makes it stand out is the way in which these colours and finishes have been used in the space and how the forms brazenly lead the story of the concept, making it a truly distinctive environment. The inclusive flexible workstations are easily moved or can be transformed into a different space. The carpet is also a strong element, with geometrical patterns taking precedence as it is combined with playful shades of light blue. The motivational and inspirational graphics on the walls allow a relaxed environment where work and collaboration are always celebrated and encouraged. The FF&E and movable planter boxes together help to create a flexible multipurpose workspace.”

  • Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Date completed: January 2018
  • Size: 16,000 square feet
  • Design: Swiss Bureau
  • Photos: Bahr Al-Alum Karim
Reception area
Reception area
Waiting area
Collaborative space
Event space
Event space
Relax pods
Hot desks
Member offices