Swiss Bureau completes Typhoon Cosmetics by Wardah

EAT PRAY MAKEUP – is the designated phrase we gave to the pantry of Typhoon Cosmetics, a project we completed in July 2018. We wanted each room to keep its own character while always relating back to the makeup industry and referring to a film, so we gave them one quirky slogan each!


The inspiration

Since the opening of their offices coincided with the launch of their brand, we aimed at tailoring the space to turn it into a unique representation of their brand personality. The brief we got from the client, who seemed to be very inspired by the Channel offices, included the words clean, elegant, monochrome and film. We translated this into a bold and contrasting monochrome pallet mixed with their gold and blue branding colors. To embrace the film studio feel, we used stage rigging and adopted the “W” from Wardah in the glazing, lighting, and shelving of the space.


The challenges


An entire inter tenancy wall, that we were not permitted to remove, was the first and biggest obstacle we faced with Wardah. Splitting the space between the client-facing zone and the staff zone was a design challenge we managed to turn around. The limited budget has definitely not limited our creativity for this space.


Take a tour


Each particular room of the Wardah brand had its own challenges. Similarly to the Auditorium, for the Reception of Typhoon Cosmetics, we emphasized on product display, while the most crucial aspect for the Makeup Rooms was lighting. We also created a Brain Storm room, where the walls and even the ceiling are covered in writable wallpaper, Phone Booth rooms, added informal meeting tables and some window benches. Adding the power of social media to the mix, we gave each room a suspended and fun #roomname, such as #beautyandthebrains.

Speaking of alternative work environments, Typhoon Cosmetics by Wardah has been one of the most enjoyable projects for us.

Photo credits: Bahr Al-Alum Karim


The design concept behind the project derives from making the invisible visible. The idea here was acknowledging that MEP design tends to be an aline thought most times. However, in this project it was crucial that the MEP was at the forefront of the design – making the ‘usually un-noticed’ stand out as part of a cohesive design. Inspired by the iconic buildings of Rem Koolhaas, we experimented with integrating polycarbonate into the central structure- with cascading light – an effect that provides the privacy we needed and at the same time, translucency. It is the beauty of this combination that made this an exciting direction to take the project in.

In starting with a blanc canvas of a rectangular space, franked by curtain walls at 2 sides of the building – it was a great opportunity to design in order to allow maximum light into the office environment. The decision of a center core structure that emerges from the ground through to the first floor dictated the remaining space plan. The industrial style mood preferred by the client is what defined the selection of the material palette. We used concrete micro topping, plywood, plaster, polycarbonate, wood effect vinyl flooring and carpet tiles. The warm rustic hues of stained plywood paired with the unique visual effect of the polycarbonate gives the project its distinct identity visually.

The natural raw materials juxtaposed with refined glass and black powder coated metal, and deep tones of green, blue and orange help to tie in the brand identity with its new original design language. This is also incorporated exposed conducts, rubber wall cladding (clients product) , PPR pipes as a design feature that turn into lights and reclaimed pinewood finish. The project was presented as a series of renderings and sketch up walk throughs, along with a material finishes workshop with options presented based on lost. The client this way had a choice and was aware of cost implications throughout the process. This project has carefully considered environmentally sustainable solutions in all stages of its design and construction. The vast double height curtain wall to the west meant that enough daylight would get into the space without making it too hot in the Dubai summer months. Materials such as plywood with lower VOC glues was used, and due its organic nature, it is eminently recyclable or compostable, the plywood manufacturing process achieves a more complete utilization to the log than does lumber manufacturing longevity of a material like this is hundreds of years.

Photo Credits: Bahr Al-Alum Karim