Inside Early Childhood Authority’s New Abu Dhabi Office
Childhood development entity Early Childhood Authority hired architecture and interior design firm Roar Design to design their new office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
“The lobby grabs attention with a lifesize fluffy monster called ‘Big Blue’. He greets guests with a playful smile – immediately creating an atmosphere that is welcoming and child – centric. The colour palette of the lobby i s vibrant and rich, while the textures of the furniture and walls are soft and tactile.
It also sends a powerful message about the history and culture of the UAE. “This was something the client was tremendously passionate about,” explains Dean. So the story of Sheikh Zayed bin Zayed al Nahyan, founder of the nation, is projected onto the wall. The traditional 2D portraits of rulers are replaced with 3-D printed busts.
Moving inside, the design narrative is based on the synapses of a child’s brain: a series of hubs connected by organic, flowing walkways. Signature features of the space include:
Meeting rooms are individually designed; no two are the same. One has a custom – made felt map of the UAE; another has walls adorned with playful heads of indigenous UAE animals, including oryx and gazele.
Circulation spaces are not just corridors, they are celebrated. One has distorting mirrors that make visitors look bigger or smaller depending on the angle–a playful talking point for guests old and young.
The kid zone is a place for children to hang out and have fun. Many of the ECA staff have young children, so a crèche facility was a must – have. Similarly, the maternity room sets a new benchmark for spaces for nursing mothers, with soft textures and reclining furniture.”
- Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE
- Date completed: 2023
- Size: 19,547 square feet
- Design: Roar Design