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A first project in the Arab Emirates


Design of a new Experience Center of Genetec in Dubai

Genetec, a renowned worldwide company based in Montreal, distinguishes itself through its high-security services, products, and technologies. Their clientele includes major entities such as cities, airports, and public institutions, seeking to enhance global security through the use of cameras and other surveillance devices.

When FOR. design planning embarked on the design of Genetec's spaces, starting with their headquarters in Montreal, they conducted an in-depth analysis of the company, its operations, and its business plan, conducting over 70 interviews with employees and executives. This approach allowed for the clear definition of user experience criteria and the approach for Genetec's clients, thus transforming how the company presents its products and technologies.

An Experience Center in the United Arab Emirates

Thus was born the first Experience Center in Montreal, aiming to immerse users in a complete experience of a dangerous situation where Genetec's technology saves the day. The dynamic market of the United Arab Emirates proved ideal for establishing another Experience Center, the DBXC, which will become a central hub for Genetec's partners, clients, and employees in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.

However, Dubai presents its own unique challenges, such as high temperatures, intense heat, solar light reflection, and the presence of sand in water requiring sophisticated filtration systems. The integration of electromechanical elements into water and fire systems posed a major challenge as well. All these factors were taken into consideration by FOR. design planning in the design of these spaces.

The programming of the spaces included multiple functions and services assigned to different user groups, both public and private. Consequently, FOR. divided the space into four distinct zones - areas for product and technology presentations targeting executive buyers; a Training Center entirely dedicated to client-operators learning to use Genetec's products; various configurations for informal/formal meetings and secluded corners for internal teams; and finally, work areas.

An artistic line adapted to the local culture and spaces

Situated within the One Central building at the Dubai World Trade Centre, the 5,400 sq.ft. of new spaces were somewhat constrained given the density of the aforementioned programming. As such, FOR. maximized external views and access to natural light by anchoring the conference room between the mullions of the large windows. Recesses in the ceiling, LED perimeter lighting, the use of mirrors, and the floating effect of the blue block at the entrance create an illusion of spaciousness and infinity.

The artistic direction of Genetec's spaces has been reviewed and adapted to the rich and luxurious market of the United Arab Emirates. Black, one of the company's corporate colors extensively used in its environments, has been replaced by warm and bright tones more appreciated by locals. In this spirit, the kitchen, typically simple and matte, now boasts a champagne-colored anodized aluminum finish, while the conference table, crafted from natural ash wood, reflects the luxury and rarity of wood in Dubai, a symbol of wealth. Moreover, the black alcove has been entirely built with 12mm thick Fenix solid laminate.

The extravagance continues in the Technology Center, where the client experiences a simulation of Genetec's platform. In this acoustically designed room, sound is enhanced by an amplified audio system, wall coverings made of laminated wool felt with cork backing, and 3D shapes covering 50% of the walls. Additionally, RGB lighting connected directly to Genetec's software changes color from red to blue to green depending on the triggered alarm code. The design of this room enhances the immersion and understanding of the products by the client, providing a true sensory experience.

Each Genetec office integrates a large-format image of the city in which it is located; here, an immense lightbox displays an aerial view of Dubai, printed on lycra to enhance acoustic absorption of the space.

Highly soundproofed spaces

Noise management remains a recurring theme for these spaces, which encourage discussions among clients as well as colleagues. In the private work areas, the entire ceiling is covered with three-dimensional panels made of high-performance acoustical polyester felt fibers (PET), bringing a playful movement to the openspace. This same material is also used on the orange walls of meeting and hotelling rooms. Additionally, the use of carpets reduces reverberation noises from the raised floor that covers the entire office area. With a continuous focus on acoustic absorption, FOR. design planning favored the use of fabric for banquettes, armchairs, and seating.

Genetec's spaces in Dubai seamlessly blend luxurious aesthetics, technology, and functionality. This latest addition joins other Experience Centers located in Montreal, Paris, London, Singapore, Mexico, and Washington.

Photos: Tooze Studio




5 400 sq.ft.


products, materials and finishes

  1. Raised floor: Global Access Floor
  2. Carpet – Openspace, collaboration area: Shaw Contract
  3. Carpet – Meeting room, Hoteling, Experience Center, Training Center: Shaw Contract
  4. Painting: Benjamin Moore
  5. Felt: FilzFelt & Woeller
  6. Film on glass – Training Center: 3M DI-NOC Finis architecturaux
  7. Acoustic ceiling system - Openspace: Impact Acoustique
  8. Linear lighting: Artemide, Flos, Ledflex
  9. Suspension – Collaboration area: Luxx Box
  10. Suspended linear – Meeting room: Artemide
  11. Lightbox:
  12. Laminate: Fenix, Wilsonart, Formica, Dekodur
  13. Solid laminate: Fenix
  14. Plants and pots: Planters Group

furniture and walls

  1. Movable walls: Optima Systems
  2. Furniture: Knoll, Herman Miller, Ekko, Davis, Framery, Muuto, distributed by Jalapeno Trading LLC
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