Broadway Interiors was established in 1999 and have been listed as number 10 in the Commercial Interior Design magazines ’50 Most Influential Design Professionals in the Middle East’!
When we started Broadway Interiors in 1999 with only three people, we had no idea we would win numerous local and international awards for our innovative designs and that our owner and founder Chris Barnes, would be listed as number 10 in the Commercial Interior Design magazines ’50 Most Influential Design Professionals in the Middle East’! Having spent twenty years delivering successful design and build projects across the region, we are proud to have been involved in the growth of the Commercial and Residential sector in the UAE. From the outset we have helped to build Dubai from delivering Sales Centres for Emaar and Dubai Properties to sell their first houses to the expatriate market, Control Centres for Dubai Ports Authority to manage the increase in shipping as numbers grew in the Emirates, the DIFC Courts and Conference Centre and numerous offices in Internet and Media City and all across the region. Latterly we have become well known for creating many award winning F&B venues including Black Tap, currently being franchised across the Middle East and Europe, Asia Asia and LSB, which after their huge success in Dubai have moved into Russia!
So after twenty years it was time to give something back to the community, but what? A membership meeting with the Dubai branch of BBG, provided the perfect platform for us to do just that, particularly as they hadn’t had a change in their office since inception in September 2010. The team stated how much they would love an upgrade, but as a non-profit organisation, they recognised they would not have a budget, but yearned for a change to enhance their work environment! With Chris’s reputation as one of the best interior designers to recycle and reinvent materials and his strong relationships with suppliers, we knew he could provide them with a new office and what better way to showcase his skills with no budget!
“When I was asked to look at the office, my first impression was that it had received no TLC since the day of its original completion and whilst that style may have been the industry norm at that time, standards, expectations and creativity have significantly changed in today’s office environment” Chris recalled. “So without any budget, we saw this as a great challenge, to show what can be achieved with innovative and sustainable design, recycling and repurposing obsolete materials and the willingness from our network of supplier relationships, to support us with this special project”.
Whilst we could have applied a structured design methodology, we wanted to use the opportunity to develop the project applying an organic and impulsive approach where no drawings were produced and all details agreed with ‘on the spot’ decision making. The starting point for the design, was a visit to our warehouse to review surplus and dead stored items to see how these could potentially be repurposed or recycled accordingly, with only a minimum requirement for new material. Initial thoughts were to infuse elements of British culture into the design concept, so upon seeing a pile of bricks in our warehouse we instantly knew our starting point and the design developed from there. Chris used elements of ‘UK life’ from the graphic skyline of the four constituent countries that make up Great Britain, the cobbled streets of the UK towns, white brick walls of UK architecture, the greenery of the countryside and even ceramic tiles of the quintessentially British fish and chip shops augmented with representations of the British flag and it’s colours with contemporary visual statements. Without budget for the ceiling and strict regulations of the Embassy, we wanted to lose the dated tiles, therefore our only option was to paint it black! Grey carpeting provided by OFIS, a division of Interface the sustainable global flooring provider adds softness and acoustic quality in the main office, whilst white office furniture donated by Human Space, a leading office furniture distributor in the UAE updates the boardroom. New window blinds donated by Royal Blinds, a long standing, leading provider of premier blinds, shades and curtains, gives a modern feel and low cost efficient LED lighting from SETechS, the green and sustainable lighting company, is provided at half price. The main feature of the boardroom is the Great Britain flag, standing proudly on the wall, designed entirely with redundant wood!
The end result is an urban, modern office that BBG Dubai are absolutely delighted with! John Martin St. Valery, Chairman and CEO of the BBG in Dubai commented “Chris cleverly captured the energy of the BBG team and translated it into a workspace that is not only British themed, but is also on point with our refreshed strategy and approach. Its modernity and the flexibility of its open space mirror our aspirations while reflecting our commitment to sustainability and innovation which are becoming ever more important in today’s workplace. That Chris and the Broadway team donated weeks of design thought and translation, onsite labour and, together with the generous support of their supplier relationships, provided materials and furniture free of charge, definitely constitutes ‘giving back’ in our community. We are thrilled with the new office and cannot wait to welcome our members to the new and improved BBG headquarters!”