Design for a New Headquarters: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company

The headquarters for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is prominently located along the Corniche, the city’s waterfront boardwalk, ushering in a transformation of the company’s workplace. The Page Interiors team successfully met several challenges, including working with decision-makers located halfway around the world.

Identifying & Addressing Client Needs
ADNOC’s offices are in a 75-story building where the typical floor plate is a parallelogram. The Page Interiors team zoned offices on the north edge to take advantage of softer light and sweeping views of the Arabian Gulf. Conference rooms, lift lobbies and restrooms were zoned on the southern façade, which features a double glazed exterior skin to insulate against intense sun exposure. The building design, while responsive to sun angles and issues of solar heat gain, creates a deep floor plate in the office areas, which posed a challenge to providing all staff with access to daylight.

To address this, the new space standards feature low horizon workstation panels and glass walls for senior staff, which draw daylight deep into the work area. The reliance on natural light is consistent with ADNOC’s choice to occupy a LEED Gold Certified building and its role as a steward of UAE’s natural resources. 

Modularity & Flexibility  
In contrast with the company’s original 1970’s headquarters comprised mostly of enclosed offices, the program for ADNOC’s new headquarters required spaces that promote collaboration and transparency for its next generation of employees. The Page team created an open plan workplace that modernizes daily operations as well as accommodates growth and contraction of its Directorates as their businesses evolve.

A 1.5-meter planning grid integrates all the services for lighting, HVAC, audio-visual and fire suppression devices into “tech” zones in the ceiling. This universal plan module also organizes the new office standard; demountable walls and workstation modules alternate with the “tech” zones for ultimate flexibility. This modular design allows ADNOC to reconfigure without much disruption to operations.

Brand & Image
The design team was also charged with creating a space that reinforces ADNOC’s brand, reflects its reputation as the country’s employer of choice and helps recruit and retain talent in a highly competitive market. The design also needed to ease employees’ transition to an open plan office, which represented a significant cultural change for the organization. 

The new workplace caters to multiple Directorates in a flexible, open-plan configuration for general staff and enclosed offices with transparent modular walls for senior managers and directors. 

An advanced collaborative environment features the latest in audio-visual technology. Conference rooms can be divided and expanded according to meeting requirements using motorized operable walls that retract seamlessly into the ceiling.

Custom interior architecture elements incorporate a reverse knife edge detail evocative of the tower's architrave feature. The offices feature high-end custom designed workstations and case goods. Made of American walnut veneer, the desk surfaces appear to float over the quartz surface return while featuring a waterfall side panel detail. 

While the office layout reflects ADNOC’s more modern operations, the material palette of natural stone, wood veneer, and architectural metals is a careful blend of traditional and contemporary The elegant palette and gracious proportions of workspaces and common areas help ease employees’ transition to an open plan layout that expresses the heritage and stability of ADNOC and its vision for the future.