Swiss Bureau successfully combines German Bauhaus design with Middle Eastern culture for its latest project
The University of Europe for Applied Sciences (UE), one of Germany’s most renowned private universities, appointed Swiss Bureau Interior Design and Build (SBID) to design and fit out its inaugural campus in Dubai, UAE.
The first university to be located at One Central, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), UE Dubai campus design prioritises practicality, wellbeing, and comfort for its students, staff, and faculty through a design that seamlessly blends two strong identities: the German Bauhaus movement with local Middle Eastern context. Drawing design parallels between the cultures, the space aims to portray a captivating and imaginative representation of a harmonious collaboration in space, incorporating geometric forms and subtle influences while reflecting practicality and connectivity. Vibrant primary colours of blue, red, and yellow infuse the campus with lively energy, whilst the thoughtfully designed campus layout facilitates smooth navigation between various areas ensuring a seamless balance between enclosed spaces, such as classrooms, admin offices, and more collaborative areas, including the landing zone, a distinctively designed library, and student café.
The entrances have a unique and welcoming effect, meticulously designed to foster a warm and spirited ambiance. Showcasing a creative blend of materials, the expertly crafted fusion of concrete breeze blocks with vibrant acrylics helps to cultivate a unique and hospitable environment that inspires and connects students and visitors alike. Additionally, distinct collaboration areas fashioned from unconventional elements like hollow blocks and polycarbonate sheets add an anomalous touch that sets the UE Dubai apart from traditional university interiors.
The design of the campus puts flexibility and functionality at the forefront, featuring an array of adaptable spaces catering to the diverse needs of future generations to come. Among such areas include an auditorium, where transformable feature walls seamlessly reconfigure the space to efficiently serve as a classroom. The library at UE represents a contemporary take on the classical German library style, doubling up as a pop-up space for small events and sessions whilst providing an inviting atmosphere motivating students to dedicate time to their studies.
Moreover, the skilful integration of biophilic elements in materials and forms, with greenery thoughtfully spread across the campus, guarantees a comfortable surrounding that underscores the importance of mental health and wellbeing for both students and faculty members.
Roy Lavian, Head of Real Estate of UE Dubai Campus, commented: “The UE Dubai campus harmoniously blends form, flow, and function and embodies the spirit of Bauhaus philosophy, which sought to revolutionise architectural principles and transform spaces with a seamless integration of craftsmanship, technology, art, and industry. At UE, we pursue similar objectives: we provide interdisciplinary education to our students in innovative programmes and equip them with important skills that they can apply in a versatile manner. We are excited to collaborate with Swiss Bureau Interior Design to bring our vision to life and unveil the inaugural UE campus in the Middle East, where functional space and exceptional design converge.”
Pooja Premkumar, Senior Interior Designer of Swiss Bureau Interior Design and Build added: “Our vision for UE Dubai aims to build walls that whisper stories of knowledge while creating spaces that hum with the energy of connection. It was pivotal for us to craft an environment that transcends the traditional classroom, immersing students in a world of collaborative learning and fostering their innate curiosity. It has been incredibly exhilarating to work on this project, bringing forth the strong German identity through the Bauhaus principles along with paying homage to the local context. Being something that excited us, finding a way to balance these strong and distinct design identities as a well spun narrative, was also an interesting challenge. It has been a delicate process, but one that we are confident will result in a truly stunning space.”
With a capacity to accommodate and support up to 1,300 students, the University of Europe for Applied Sciences will provide three Master’s programmes in its initial launch in the Fall of 2023, including Data Science and Software Engineering, as well as the UAE’s first Master of Arts in Visual and Experience Design.