Bain & Company’s new office in Dubai is an engaging workplace environment, created by global design practice Allen Architecture Interior Design (AAID), with lighting design by Studio N.

The interior design team drew inspiration from Dubai’s Khor river and sought to replicate the sense of vitality and community that the river embodies in a workplace context. The river motif comes to life in the form of a ribbon of red, which ebbs and flows through the workplace to define the primary circulation areas. Studio N responded by making light inherent to the user journey. Surface-mounted spotlights were positioned along the band of red to produce a uniform layer of ambient illumination and support wayfinding by helping to guide occupants from place to place.

In the collaboration spaces, where the sweeping lines of red are replaced with dramatic feature ceilings above the seating areas, the lighting design team used indirect illumination to accentuate the installation. Linear LED fixtures were integrated between the contrasting red and neutral slats to emphasise the materiality and produce a gentle layer of comfortable light beneath. In the breakout areas, red pendants positioned above tables form halos of light – the effect is soft and embracing, while the visual reference ties in with the wider colour scheme.

Elsewhere in the open-plan work zones, criss-cross style luminaires provide a visual break from the linear design narrative. The fittings cast a distinctive pattern of light across the desks below and help to mark out the area as a space for focused work.

A delicate balance of functional and decorative lighting prevails in the meeting rooms. Curved and wave-effect luminaires add an unexpected dimension of playfulness at the centre of the room, while minimalist downlights provide a gentle uniformity of light for video conferences and meetings.

A quieter mood plays out in the meeting booths and work pods, where diffuse lines of light were integrated in the ceiling to cocoon users in soft illumination and highlight the patterned surfaces and saturated colour tones used to individualise each pod.

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