As the provider of water and electric utilities to its citizens, ADDC has no outside competition and thus is not competing for market share. But ADDC is committed to delivering a great customer experience and encouraging the efficient use of resources, and competes with the other utility providers in the UAE for excellence. ADDC’s existing utility branch infrastructure was generic, outdated, not wearing well. This was further exasperated by numerous challenges in the customer experience. They were seeking to implement new NCR self-service technology to handle the low-value transactions within the branches and reposition their staff to be advisors and educators.
To translate the brand within the physical space, we focused on the elements of water and energy. A jumping-off point was the Water Bench by Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka—a custom cast block of glass that contains beautiful ripples in its surface. The visual effect of this piece mimics the dynamism of moving water and refracts light in a similar manner to real water. We referred to this visual effect as “arrested water,” capturing the fluidity of the element in a static moment. This became central to the entry and reception experience, and evolved into the concept of flow for all of the change—from space to online.
Our team created a completely new look, experience program, and architecture for ADDC that is contemporary while rooted in Islamic tradition and history. We also focused on creating highly sustainable new structures that were both extremely efficient and great spaces to visit, work, and explore.
Our work began with the focus on redesigning a single branch in downtown Abu Dhabi, although the effort did in include the exterior site and building identity as well as the two-level branch inside. Our work was greatly received by ADDC and they engaged us as their partner and creative lead to oversee all of their transformation, including their new digital experience (developed by Publicis Digitas) and their entire branch portfolio and experience. The first branch implementation opened in 2016 in the Abu Dhabi Mall in Baniyas. Other projects are currently in development/construction including the two-building campus in Khalifa A (shown here).