FeatureOffice Interior

Redefining Office Spaces

Text by Tania Ahmed Nishi

Achieving the appropriate balance between pioneering and comprehensible concepts is something that organizations, most notably UNDP, strive for in order to boost productivity and worker well-being. The UNDP Country Office spanning the 18th and 19th floor of the IDB Bhaban, Agargaon, portrays a concept that reflects the work of UNDP as well as the lively office culture the company aims to practice. Architecture firm maison’D Architects redesigned the office to bring the company’s vision alive.

In order to comprehend the demands and objectives of clients like UNDP, maison’D Architects was devoted to working closely with them. Flexible and functional workspaces that promote creativity, productivity, and comfort had been the core design requirement of the design team. The focus was to create an office environment that could accommodate a variety of working and emotional states, from contemplative aloneness to active group interactions. From architect Talha Mahmud, the office’s easy access, natural lighting, and plantation-style architecture allow people to “take a deep breath as soon as they get into the office.” This is because these elements have a big effect on people both consciously and unconsciously, making them feel comfortable and at ease as soon as they enter the workspace, which was not the case in the previous office.

The office is based on an open-plan concept, occupying approximately 16000 square feet divided into two floors. The interior of the office puts aside all the unnecessary decorations to represent the most authentic characteristics of the materials. The monochrome tones of the overall project are enhanced with a few graphical walls and colourful furniture pieces that help to break the monotony. “The colors implemented in the décor details are derived from the UNDP company’s prime colours. On top of this, the indoor plants surely uplift the mood and grow employees’ morale and productivity, and creates a pleasant ambiance to get the daily jobs done efficiently. A couple of nooks, as well as a range of breakout spaces, are designed that offer a different level of privacy, suited for a quick chat, a phone call, or an informal meeting,” says Farhin Ashrafi, partner architect of maison’D Architects.

Apart from the continuous flow of linear overhead artificial LED lights installed throughout the whole floor, the wide transparent glass walls of the office allow natural light to flood the workplace, as well as create an illusion of larger spaces. The additional transmission of light into the office environment and the view of the wonderful cityscape tends to lead to more productivity. “By implementing an open plan concept, the office is now more open and transparent. Each individual workstation and nook receive natural light and outside views. Interestingly, each space provides a different view of the cityscape. For the employees, it is delightful for them to watch the changing panorama from different angles at different periods of the day”, shares the design team.

The office design uses elements like lighting, ventilation, pop of colours, and shapes to compose an environment that promotes interaction and contributes to the team’s effort.

The UNDP Country Office is indeed a combination of brilliant functionality and modern eclectic style.

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