Dubai-based Roar’s latest project combines tradition and craft with modern minimalism and data-driven efficiency.

Located in Dubai’s pioneering business district, One Central, Roar’s 23,000 sq ft project - the new Middle Eastern headquarters of leading Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda - blends traditional Japanese aesthetic with modern data-driven solutions to create a stunning contemporary office, anchored in its local environment.

As a result, the space is designed around three themes - Japanese values, Emirati culture, and data-driven design - resulting in a very intuitive yet reasoned project.

The interior concept evokes key principles of the classical Japanese design philosophy highlighting a minimal, restrained architectural language with shoji screen geometry and textured materials such as wood, raw concrete, and paper. The boardroom echoes, the layout of a Japanese tea house while the reception area references the genkan, the traditional entrance of a Japanese home.

Rooting the HQ into its new home city, the project features various Arab design elements. Made using ‘khoos – a weaving technique that was traditionally applied to build house roofs and floor mats using dried palm – a series of artworks by Emirati designer Khalid Shafar adorn the space.

“This ancient Emirati craft is similar to the Japanese tatami method, where instead of rice straw, Emiratis use palm tree leaves,” says Dean. “We like this subtle synergy between the two cultures”.

As per ASHRAE standards, the project is LEED silver certified, but it is the human-centric approach that delivers on its promise of enhancing occupants’ health and comfort. “The idea of bringing the outdoors inside, in recognition of the inherent need of humans to be in contact with nature, has always been at the forefront of Roar’s practice,” says Dean. Kaplan’s Attention Restoration Theory, or ART, proposes that exposure to nature is not only enjoyable but can also improve focus and concentration. “In view of the recent pandemic, which reminded us of our far too distant relationship with nature, I believe this is something that will become a must in most interior design projects going forward.”


To find out more about Roar, click here.