Rawls is working as the retail design guardian for the 17km2 Yas Island development in Abu Dhabi.
Rawls managing director Adam Rawls says the consultancy was appointed by developer Aldar Properties following a competitive pitch last February and is working on guidelines for design standards for all the retail interiors (concept image pictured).
Rawls says the guidelines, which will be applicable to more than 400 retail brands ‘from hypermarkets to De Beers’, will be published in the next two months, ahead of the construction of the development’s retail element.
He says the consultancy has never worked with Aldar before, but has worked as retail guardian on similar projects, such as Cabot Circus in Bristol. As well as the 296 000m2 retail development, Yas Island will feature a links golf course, a water park and the Yas Marina Circuit, which will host the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix on 1 November.
Rawls describes the Yas Island development as ‘unique’, likening it to ‘an air-conditioned city’. He says that the consultancy has set up an Abu Dhabi design studio to service this contract and potential future work in the region.
The studio currently employs one person, but Rawls says he intends it to have a staff of eight in a year’s time.