Early Childhood Authority Abu Dhabi

  • area / size 1,800 sqft
  • Completed 2021
  • Roar completed a well-designed space for functionality, play and interaction for the Early Childhood Authority in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

    Abu Dhabi’s Early Childhood Authority has launched its new headquarters – a pioneering space that inspires adults to view the world through the lens of a child.

    The 1800 sq ft office, based at al mamoura tower in Abu Dhabi, will be home to the 100 strong team of team of ECD experts charged with shaping the future of young children 0-8 years old to flourish, with a strategy that focuses on early care and education, health and nutrition, family support, and child protection in Abu Dhabi. The space blends playful and colourful elements with a cutting-edge approach to workspace design.

    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 is 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. So the story of Sheikh Zayed bin Zayed al Nahyan, founder of the nation, is projected onto the wall. The traditional 2-D 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 gazelle.

    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 COLOUR SCHEME was developed with a colour psychologist, with orange spaces to inspire energy and blue spaces to soothe and relax.

    FURNITURE was curated, not just ordered. No two chairs, table or lamps are the same; each one is selected to add the right function, the right ambience, for each corner of the ECAworkspace.

    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.
    BATHROOMS have large and small doors for WCs – a permanent reminder that this is a space shared by grown-ups and children.

    ECA VALUES are embedded throughout the space. From typography on the walls, to the personal lockers for staff members covered in the Arabic script of the ECA logo.

    Design: Roar
    Photography: The Oculis Project