ESAG Design Hub in Dubai Design District (d3) aspires to be an “experiential display” serving as a workspace and showroom for eight ESAG brands: La Cucina from AMF, Al Semsam, Better Life, Mac Al Gurg, Oasis, OFIS, Scientechnic, and La Cornue from Al Gurg Lifestyle.
Design house Schwitzke & Partner was tasked with creating a hybrid space that creates a single narrative for the eight interior and lifestyle design companies that make up ESAG Design Hub, and the variety of products and services they offer.
The hub aims to “inspire our target audience with endless possibilities of blending their creative inputs with design possibilities that stretch across interior and exterior solutions for residential or commercial projects,” says ESAG’s chief executive officer, Abdulla Al Gurg.
“ESAG Design Hub translates our wealth of retail and project experience in the design space to create a composite address that offers architects, designers, and fit-out specialists the option to look for customised solutions in a convenient location,” he adds.
At ESAG Design Hub, the Château cookers from La Cornue are entirely hand-made by craftsmen with no less than 8,000 options available to design one’s own 'bespoke' cooker.
Mac Al Gurg offers a portfolio of sanitaryware products, while OFIS claims to be a leading modular furniture and flooring provider, which has worked with big-name firms such as HSBC, Huawei, and local real estate developer Dubai Properties.
Scientechnic, meanwhile, offers lighting solutions, while La Cucina work closely with customers to help them select the right kitchen cabinets to enhance existing aesthetic designs. Al Semsam provides fire-tested systems and solutions based on the fire strategy of the building; Oasis focuses on surface coatings and offers customers a range of texture options and colour tips based on customer aesthetics; and Better Life offers a range of small and large kitchen Siemens and SMEG appliances.
Al Gurg says the ESAG Design Hub mantra “is to facilitate the design and conception of projects that are compelling and aspirational. This created a challenge for Düsseldorf-based Schwitzke & Partner as it had to create a seamless venue that allows seven unique brands to simultaneously thrive, says the German company’s managing director, Juan Hildebrand.
“We wanted to cultivate each brand’s identity without compromising on the general look and feel,” Hildebrand notes. “This particular hybrid space was designed to address business-to-consumer customers, contractors, landlords, as well as designers and architects residing in d3. Our focus was to highlight individuality and also leverage the companies’ unique strengths in a corporate milieu at the same time,” he says.
The company created several pavilions to provide each brand with a frame – all within the guidelines, needs, and objectives of each brand.
“We have managed to highlight the uniqueness of every individual brand by emphasising their most iconic pieces. Blowing character into it is where the design really came to life,” remarks Hildebrand
The welcoming open-concept entrance of the hub reflects one of the major themes the seven dynamic brands are keen accentuate: a lifestyle.
“As a red thread throughout the space, we showcased the latest products and materials offered by the companies represented. In addition to that we created pavilions that have been arranged in a seemingly random way to enhance the feeling of dynamism and establish a casual approach,” says Hildebrand.
Schwitzke ensured that the pavilions are designed in such a way that branding and logos are positioned on the pavilion’s exterior sides, always facing the entrance, to provide clear guidance throughout the space.
Limited space created a challenge for Schwitzke & Partner, and it is one that architects and interior designers are all too familiar with. To ensure the seven brands are able to co-exist and thrive in one dynamic environment, rooms are set up as modular to provider the brands with various uses.
“We established a space that not only addresses traditional B2B customers, but also creates opportunities for ESAG to explore new ways of engaging architects and designers, as well as end users in the future,” Hildebrand adds.
Al Gurg goes on to say that that ESAG Design Hub has seamlessly incorporated various workstations to create a stimulating environment to not only help companies thrive but spark conversations on the future.
“Besides being a one-stop solution for products and solutions, ESAG Design Hub aims to encourage education, discussion and debate; bringing together like-minded people in the industry to discuss matters that impact the community, such as sustainability, craftsmanship.”