A new concept of work and research, the need to meet the individual requirements of users and, at the same time, the need to convey a sense of community, of interaction and of interdisciplinarity: the essential elements that, conceptually, characterised the project carried out by the Italian nEmoGruppo studio for the new offices of the Cyber Security Department on the New York University (NYU) campus in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). In February, the recently completed interior design project was awarded the Luxury Lifestyle Awards in the Best Office Interior category. Interdisciplinarity is certainly a distinctive feature that distinguishes the professional experience of the nEmoGruppo firm. Founded in Florence in 2004 as a collective, in 2008 nEmoGruppo become an associated studio led by architects Alessandra Barilaro, Giacomo Casalino, Luca del Cucco and Davide Gamba. Today, the firm conducts work both nationally and internationally with architecture, interior design and exhibition projects. The New York University Centre for Cyber Security (CCS) works in partnership with leading local universities, industry and government agencies of the UAE to facilitate the country’s cybersecurity research, training and practice.
Approaching the design keeping in mind the operating methods and co-working typical of this type of office, the architects created a continuous and modular 1250 square metre space, characterised by internal partitions, as well as custom-designed finishes and furnishings. Moreover, the space was designed to closely respect the original concept of the structure and to fit harmoniously into the existing context, without altering the overall design.
The Cyber Security department has thus been transformed into a large idea laboratory containing over 80 workstations, where in each work module the different research areas can be distinguished, from digital forensic sciences to securing cyber-infrastructures.
Service installations were purposefully left exposed and painted black to give a greater sense of depth. No longer hidden by false ceilings, they draw a series of paths and connections that unify everything, both aesthetically and functionally, crossing from room to room all the way to the custom designed and wired table structures. In order not to interrupt this visual continuity, where necessary the architects incorporated transparent dividing glass panes into the design that can be creatively used as shared whiteboards. Other elements are used as occasional dividers between spaces or to define areas where informal meetings and operational briefings are held.
The Italian nEmoGruppo firm has also designed other projects for the Abu Dhabi University, concerning didactic and research spaces, as well as offices. Works include the school's Art Studios and Research Labs, as well as the new IT Help Desk where experimentation with indoor plants is underway, used in environments lacking openings and natural light.
Images courtesy of nEmoGruppo architetti, photo by Amr Kassem of Shuttercomm
Project Name: Cyber Security, department within New York University in Abu Dhabi.
Area: MQ: 1250
Project team: nEmoGruppo architetti (Alessandra Barilaro, Giacomo Casalino, Luca Del Cucco, Davide Gamba)
Photographer: Amr Kassem of Shuttercomm
Company (contractor): Life Space Interiors
MEP: Accolade Engineering Consultants
Client: New York University, Abu Dhabi
Location: Abu Dhabi EAU