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After successfully completing several design projects in the UAE and Qatar markets, Havelock One is now confidently undertaking more commercial interior design and build projects.

Modern design elements and sustainable practices are beginning to feature more dynamic spaces that can easily adapt to fit the needs of an ever-changing workforce. The best way to foster more collaboration and teamwork amongst employees is to ensure that their space is balanced to accommodate workstations and breakout areas for interactions with colleagues. Havelock One’s Architect and Design Manager – Maria Cristina Doctor, based in the UAE, and Interior Designer – Riyah Gravador, from our Qatar office, share their design approach. They also emphasise the benefits of working with a ‘One-stop’ solutions provider who can guide the clients on the design aspect and work together on a conglomeration of the scope involved with the project build.

Q&A with Havelock One’s Design team – Maria Doctor (MD) and Riyah Gravador (RG):

According to you, what are the significant factors influencing office/workspace design trends in 2022?

MD: Collaborative workspaces offering agility and flexibility are some of the significant trends that have been created for offices, especially in this region where teams are composed of diverse backgrounds. This design trend draws each employee to engage more efficiently, helps build rapport and can inspire the employee to be more of a team player. We are now in the era of modern technology and viewing commercial spaces as a home away from home, so workspaces being agile and flexible is undoubtedly a primary consideration in office design trends. Sustainability is also widely embraced by many as it has benefited most companies in terms of productivity and a healthier workplace. Designing with efficiency and well-being in mind will add comfort to the users and suit any open space in buildings.

RG: We are now in a post-pandemic world, and everything we have learned and endured for the past two years has changed and influenced how we design our current offices/workspaces. At Havelock One, employee wellness is a priority; hence, we adopt the best office design placement in our locations. And we ensure that our design proposals for offices are agile, biophilic and remote-work capable, which has been the office design trend for a few years now.

Within enquiries received to date, is there a high demand for incorporating sustainability and green options in commercial properties?

MD: Yes. As this advocates green practices and impacts the design and construction life cycle. Given Havelock One’s track record as a premium turnkey service provider in the commercial fit-out space, our team of professionals ensures that the materials we procure for our projects are responsibly procured and meet sustainability requirements.

RG: It’s our design philosophy and has always been the major factor considered in our design. Having a sustainable commercial office/property not only helps the environment but also positively impacts office culture and well-being in the workplace. As most commercial properties do not consider sustainable design, we consistently implement a biophilic design in our office interior design projects. It is known that having an office environment with natural elements such as greenery, sunlight, and, if possible, natural ventilation increases well-being, productivity, creativity, and attention span.

What is the demand/aspiration towards having AI and technology-embedded workspace?

RG: We believe AI and technology are crucial in today’s workspace. We need to start implementing intelligent ways to ease the flexibility of working in the office and remotely. Innovative solutions such as smart video conference screens that double as a whiteboard and meeting room booking systems hugely boost efficiency and connectivity. In the next few years, technology and AI influence will grow as many offices now embrace anything that can make work efficient with task automation and machine-learning systems already in our hands.

What is the process you follow taking a design brief from the client?

MD: As I represent a brand and not just as an individual designer, I usually combine creative, analytical, and realistic approaches and present them to the client. My proposal is based on what I have filtered out of the broad range of ideas that won’t overwhelm them. We do inject design elements that tell the brand story within the given space. As being in the Design and Build industry, we also provide inception to implementation views at various stages for seeking client approvals.

RG: Most of the time, WHILE taking the client’s design brief, I put myself in their place, how they feel and see things with their own eyes. After considering everything along with the site survey, I map the key points down and sketch my ideas on a piece of paper so that the visuals from my imagination are in black and white, and it will be my roadmap through the concept design. This roadmap is backed up with further research and the selection of finishes and materials through our vast collection of physical materials and FFE catalogues. One of the brands we deal with demands different looks, finishes and ambience in all branches. And this job turned both exciting and challenging to get a connection with the brand the moment you stepped into each of the different branches. We solved this with the right combination of design elements to sell the brand and its story.

Do we offer solutions for ergonomic or tasteful furniture?

MD: Yes. Ergonomics is a priority, and we even offer value engineering in the event of any budget constraints.

RG: We have partnered with reputable and high-quality office/workspace furniture makers at all price points to suit every requirement.

Havelock One Interior keeps ahead of the industry trends and has moved a lot deeper with the digitalisation of its factory ecosystem and changing how its people and processes operate. Adrian Sellar, Division Director for Fit-out in UAE, added: “Our interior design and setting-out teams are working with several creativity-aided design tools to adapt the design vision into reality. And, we are grateful and pleased that our manufacturing in Bahrain and our fit-out teams across the region continually deliver for prestigious and loyal customers”.

“Our experience in adapting convenient acoustics and visual privacy where needed helps to provide a blueprint of the required office fit-out solution that appeals to the newer generations and new work modes. We are also conscious of the post-pandemic office HSE aspects and have considered broadening our supply-chain partners to meet demands at reasonable terms”, commented Adrian.

Havelock One offers a full spectrum of design-build services for commercial projects, and they are primarily focused on turnkey fit-out solutions for the industry. Get in touch to discuss your next project with our experienced team. 

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