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SAY Studio turns Emaar Square Building into Middle East and Europe’s first commercial WELL Health-Safety-certified space


SAY Studio announces the completion of a Dh100m+ WELL project in Emaar Square for an undisclosed client. The project is the only commercial space across the Middle East and Europe to receive the WELL health and safety seal from the international WELL-building institute, the global authority on healthy buildings. The space is also awaiting confirmation of a Gold grade WELL certification.

With designers at the firm having worked with clients such as DEWA on its net zero footprint office space, Adidas’s award-winning, wellness HQ and big names in the technology space such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google, designers at SAY Studio were tasked with undertaking the design of a brand-new 16,000sqm HQ under the theme “office of the future”, the first health and wellbeing focused project of its kind for this client.

Laila Al-Yousuf, design director at SAY Studio said: “WELL Projects are required to meet certain, high-level criteria across a broad spectrum of categories and this project required an in-depth understanding of both the built environment, and the operational requirements in order to accomplish this. It’s been a privilege to work on the first health and safety rated commercial space and we are really looking forward to applying our now extensive knowledge on the subject to more of our clients in the near future.”

The WELL Health and Safety seal can be seen on buildings which have set out to prioritise end user’s health and safety. This includes measures such as cleaning and sanitising procedures, air and water quality control, emergency preparedness programs and health services.

The client has offices in 157 countries around the world and the overall design concept for the project was to represent the client’s global presence. We achieved this by designing each of the floors with subtle references back to different pivotal locations. The objectives were two-fold, to maximise productivity and staff wellness, and more specifically staff health and safety, which has globally come under scrutiny since COVID-19 hit and is now an element of WELL accreditation which is being heavily promoted.

The project began in March 2019, and took 19 months to complete. It consists of floors G to five, plus the roof terrace. It is the largest and most adventurous of its kind across the region and for the brand, globally. SAY Studio continues to focus on ground breaking commercial projects with blue chip clients, while gathering momentum in sectors such as hospitality, mixed-use developments and biochemical.

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