Roar’s design for White & Case’s new headquarters in Dubai deftly combines the law firm’s historic heritage with a local flare, grounding it in its Emirati environment while upholding the company’s deep-rooted worldwide ideals. The room design is a true collaborative process with White & Case’s Head of Design and senior partners, and is located in the famous ICD Brookfield Place overlooking two of the city’s most iconic attractions – the Museum of the Future and the Burj Khalifa.
Pallavi Dean, Founder & Creative Director at Roar, comments: “We held a series of focus groups with White & Case’s Dubai team and our in-house psychologist to find out what key requirements needed to be met in the new office, both from practical and wellbeing perspectives. It was a fair process where everyone’s needs and desires were heard and incorporated in the design.”
The office is split between two floors – Floors 8 and 9 within a larger office block – to enable a sense of collectivism and to ease cooperation, Roar chose to connect the two floors with a sculptural, spiral-shaped staircase – the first of its kind in the building.
To create a sense of openness and free-movement to the office, Roar has centralised all the senior partners’ offices towards the core of the floor while dedicating the periphery to an undivided work space and team rooms.
Privacy is an essential element in a law firm, which Roar needed to take into consideration. With this in mind, ’defensible’ spaces surrounded by small acoustic barriers were created within the open-plan area, which, together with the white noise speakers, help to provide a real sense of confidentiality.
Pallavi Dean elaborates on the layout: “Central to our concept was to bring unity to the workflow of the five distinct departments that make up White & Case through our interior design. While each department – we call them ‘neighbourhoods’! – has access to closed offices for confidential client work, there is plenty of open-plan space coupled with team rooms, cockpit offices and ‘focus’ pods for collaborative work and to create a sense of community.”