Summertown Interiors delivered the new Middle East headquarters for Japanese pharmaceutical company, Takeda. Located in the prestigious One Central Development in the Central Business District of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA), Takeda’s stunning new 2,075 sqm office was designed by interior design firm Roar, project management by CBRE, and has been awarded LEED silver certification from the USGBC.

The result of the ‘design and build’ project is a stunning contemporary office with a blend of traditional Japanese design philosophy with modern mathematical efficiency that is anchored in local culture.

One of the main challenges during the construction was to keep the project on track amidst the outbreak of the coronavirus and new government regulations. Nicola Trivett, project director, Summertown Interiors explained: “Construction was one of the few industries that was able to keep running during the Dubai government’s strict sterilisation program that required everyone to stay home. We were half-way through the Takeda office fit-out when the pandemic broke out – we had to act swiftly to make the necessary changes to our health and safety procedures on site to keep the project progressing in the safest way possible. Despite this challenge we managed to successfully deliver this project together with the support of the Roar design team’.

Biophilia and natural materials including wood and raw exposed concrete are key to the workspace design alongside the subtle inclusion of the corporate philosophy it calls “Takeda-ism” based on four values: integrity, fairness, honesty and perseverance. Highlights of the workspace include the boardroom inspired by a Japanese tea house, and reception modelled on the ‘genkan’ entrance hallway concept of a traditional Japanese home.

Pallavi Dean, founder and creative director of Roar, commented: “We designed a space around three themes: Japanese values, Emirati culture and data-driven design. At one end of the spectrum it is very artistic and intuitive, drawing on concepts and materials such as pared back minimalism with wood, raw concrete and paper – coupled with Emirati craftsmanship such as khous handweaving. At the other extreme, the space planning used sophisticated mathematical models to find the right mix of private, shared and public spaces.”