Winner: Workplace interior (large) of the year 2023. Agata Kurzela Studio has redesigned the interiors for a Government Office in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
This space is under a dramatic undulating roof, on the last level of a heritage building. It had been designed for a government body overseeing major public projects that also hosts workshops and exhibitions. A key challenge was the fluctuating office occupancy because of varying numbers of external consultants.
Rediscovering the building’s architectural qualities, its genius loci, was at the core of this concept. We focused on the clarity of the previously underutilised space, and re-established its logic through an addition of volumes that pay homage to the architectural proportions in an act of creative archaeology.
Judges comments: "Government Office is a very unexpected project for an Emirati government bureau in Abu Dhabi. The radial distribution of the working space is reminiscent of an Italian city, creating a clean intuitive layout. The use of platforms interconnected by staircases creates new spaces without suffocating the existing ones."