Scandi-neutral was the design brief for a collaboration between three creative enterprises.
Styled Habitat Design worked with Royal Haskoning DHV and Live Loud Girl to design he interior for Jotun's new regional headquarters in Dubai Science Park.
What they created together is a timeless design combining natural materials with a neutral colour palette as an homage to Jotun's Nordic roots. Live Loud Girl served as the stylist consultant. Having worked with Jotun on their consumer market for over a number of years, the agency's love for simplicity, creativity and Scandinavian design ensured that all design decisions were in keep with the firm's aesthetic and brand.
Located on a 12,000 sq m-plot, the headquarters and R&D labs are set inside two separate buildings, designed by Netherlands-based architecture firm Royal HaskoningDHV, led by architect Hisham Al Hayouti, in line with Jotun's guidelines and brand expression.
The architecture embodies Scandinavian simplicity and modernity coupled with a sustainable and innovative design.Upon completion, the buildings are set to accommodate up to 230 people.Styled Habitat payed homage to Jotun's Nordic roots and Scandinavian sensibility of 'functionalism' through a concept that offers a timeless and honest design, finely crafted using natural materials with a focus on simplicity and functionality. It was Jotun's first project of its kind in the in the region, so it was important to ensure it reflected the strength of its brand values.
Jan H. Lorentzen, project manager, Jotun, says: "Reflecting the business Jotun represents with regards to products, appearance is very important. Interior design should not only be pleasant to look at but also reflect Jotun’s values and quality. Styled Habitat has put great efforts into designing a beautiful environment that we can all be proud of."
Rabah Saeid, founder and creative director, Styled Habitat, adds: "We studied the architecture by Royal HaskoningDHV and continued the same design language into the interiors with simple forms created to maximise light at every turn and bring the space to life. Focusing on simplicity and functionality, as with all Scandinavian design, we emphasized natural elements, minimalist furniture and impactful lighting.
"One might run up the conclusion that the Jotun headquarters, one of the biggest manufacturers of paints worldwide, would occupy a space that is decidedly colorful. However, we intentionally chose a more subtle approach. We stripped the interior's core of color and allowed for natural light and materials to flood the space, using color as accents," he says.
The neutral palette that is maintained throughout the entirety of the interior space allowed for colour to be emphasised as focal points and viewed as art within the space. Company culture was another key consideration within the interior design, resulting in a mix between open and closed office spaces as well as carved out breakout areas on every floor to allow for multi-functionality and team gathering.
Using nature as the main inspiration, Styled Habitat recreated elements of the Norwegian forest through vertical elements that create a warm strain of modernism. Vertical wood slates can be found in the reception and canteen in a white oak finish.
Vertical elements also trickle into the handmade Kyushu tiles, which offer a mixture of luxe and matte finishes to further emphasize the interplay of light and shadow within the design.
The canteen, which is created to be a cosy, warm, and inviting restaurant-like space, features three different seating styles. Bench seating has been selected for a quick coffee or bites, while booth seating is designed for a cosier feel. Finally, the loose table seating option is flexible and can be customised for even larger group functions and parties.
The selected furniture is all stackable and can be easily removed to create a large, open space for events. From exterior to interior, the design focuses on purist simplicity, complete with white walls and oak wide wood planks by Kahrs that runs along with the concrete flooring for an industrial look. Flos lights give a sleek, modern aesthetic, black fittings punctuating the space.
Jotun’s commitment to quality, design and craftsmanship is reflected in the products and brands used, such as Carl Hansen, Fritz Hansen, Gubi, Menu, Mutto, &tradition, Vitra and Flokk.
Norwegian brands and Scandinavian products sit alongside works by local and regional designers and initiatives such as Nada Debs and FMBI, highlighting settings in which Jotun products can be used.