Here at eOffice we are always in search of the new trends in office design and how it evolves to accommodate the changing ways of work. We love to meet new, creative design companies from all over the world and our newest quest takes us to Russia and BRIZ Studio.
Founded in 2008, BRIZ Studio carries out projects for public interiors, such as offices, business centers, restaurants and shopping malls. Among their projects are Linkor business center in St. Petersburg, Faberge Museum in Shuvalovsky Palace, offices of GazpromOil, Lukoil, MegaFon and Sberbank of Russia.
In conversation with Anna Maslova, Director BRIZ and Grigory Neverov, Leading Architect BRIZ, we unveiled some of the key aspects of behind the design of the new Odnoklassniki office in St. Petersburg.
eOffice: What was the brief of the project?
AM&GN: In Odnoklassniki office, our task was to create an office where planning and overall atmosphere will create a perfect environment for effective work and communication between the employees. The space was structured to define work and communication areas. Another important goal was to use ecological materials in finishing.
eOffice: What was the inspiration behind the design and architecture of the project?
AM&GN: Office planning is inspired with a town structure: blocs of buildings are bordering parks, business quarters are dissected with green spots. Canteen and conference hall became ‘parks’, with wide use of green plants and wood in furniture and finishing. Open space work area became a business quarter, divided into few blocs with meeting rooms, which remind of small city gardens. The wall that continues throughout the length of the open space is finished with various materials, such as bricks, wood and concrete to give an idea of different facades of the buildings.
eOffice: What is your favourite feature of the design?
AM&GN: Odniklassniki is a social network helping to keep in touch with people you know. We played with this idea with the help of interactive panels integrated into one of the walls. Colleagues can use touchscreen panels and ‘secret’ drawers in the wall at the entrance and leave messages to each other, highlight the current status of projects, or draw attention to some important information or events inside the team, such as birthdays or trips. This playfully functional wall provides additional options for offline communication and helps to bring the team together both in work and leisure. One more important element of this space is a terrarium with the office pet, iguana.
eOffice: What in your opinion are the key features?
AM&GN: Key feature for us is an effective planning of the space, which corresponds to the identity and activities of the company, the space that facilitates personal contact within the work collective, creates a comfortable and welcoming environment. And, also we consider important the use of ecological finishing materials.
eOffice: How do you envision the office of the future?
AM&GN: In the office of the future, atmosphere is more important than shapes and technologies. Office becomes a space, which is, first of all, comfortable and friendly for a person. Technical aspects like good air conditioning and lighting stay a must, but such aspects as colour palette, haptic qualities of materials, plenty of green plants, easy communication schemes and a choice of places to work on the tasks also play a very important role.
ROLF is the largest Mitsubishi Motors importer in Russia. They briefed Meandre Architects to create one consolidated office space after merging several of their legal entities into one. The space is functional, and was created in a very short time frame. The aim was to form a simple space, with an almost industrial feel to it. The space can accomodate over 400 employees, and was based on the company’s core business – the car industry. Inspiration was drawn from car repair shops, and even from Mitsubishi car repair guides.
The Working space was divided into three offices – one for each legal entity. The Reception area and meeting suite however are shared – this helps people to communicate and promotes informal meetings. The Common area introduces the corporate colours and the use of bespoke furniture.
BBDO is a worldwide advertising agency network, with its headquarters in New York City. The agency began in 1891 with George Batten’s Batten Company, and later in 1928, through a merger of BDO (Barton, Durstine & Osborn) and Batten Co. the agency became BBDO. The agency’s Russian operations are based in Moscow, and the offices were designed by Nefaresearch. The main challenge that faced Nefaresearch’s architects, was to reconstruct a four-story factory building dating back to the 19th century into an office space fit for advertising agency.
The style of the office had to resemble an art centre, rather than traditional office. The aim was to create with irony a rich dynamic and contemporary image in the BBDO’s branded palette (red, white, grey and black), covering and unifying all office spaces and in the same time dividing them into functional zones.
The Astrata Group designs and develops advanced location-based IT services and solutions (telematics) that combine GPS positioning, wireless communications (satellite or terrestrial) and geographical information technology. They opened a new office in Moscow, which was designed mainly by architect Tatiana Romanova. The office is colourful and very funky, whilst at the same time a very functional and practical office space. Although the standard working areas can be a bit bland and basic, the meeting rooms and coworking areas are the total opposite of the spectrum; one word comes to mind – psychedelic!
This office is the architectural studio of Nefa Research, which is located in a former factory called the “Flakon”. Flakon essentially means bottle, so perhaps the factory resembles this in some way! Located in Moscow the space is formed through the use of geometric multi-level construction. The idea of industrial office with unusual structural spaces was created by Nefa Research, in fact most of the furniture was made from the architects’ own sketches.
V Kontakte is one of Russia’s largest social networks, with users numbering at over 100 million people! The office was created in partnership with the Finnish design firm Gullsten-Inkinen. One of the main briefs for the project was to create a space that was less formal than your traditional office, creating a space that appealed to and attracted the best and brightest of Russia’s workforce.
To add a bit of brightness, playfulness colours and features have been added to furniture, textiled rugs and manifestations. Also, reflective finishes; splashes of white on ceilings and walls have been added within specific areas to achieve reflective light and brightness when needed.
Yandex is a leading internet company in Russia, operating the most popular search engine and the most visited website in the country. They generated an impressive 63.3% of all search traffic in Russia in 2011 and 59.4% in March 2012. The architects behind their new Odessa office space aimed to create a bright office which was extraordinary and memorable. Odessa, being a maritime city, naturally lent itself to a subtle maritime theme – for example the light-diffusers are in the form of sails, and the walls are covered with copper.
Google has developed a reputation for being able to merge both technology and creativity seamlessly, with many putting their meteoric success partly down to the ability and desire to do so. Perhaps one of the main ways Google showcases this synergy is through the design of their offices. Google offices are world renowned for being some of the most fun and well-designed offices in the world – and they’ve just done it again! We’ve covered many Google offices over the years, but their Russian offices are the latest edition to the roster.
The Russian Google office was designed by the Swiss design firm Camenzind Evolution. As you can see in the pictures the style is a mixture of so called “geek chic” and techy futurism. We think the Decoist hit the nail on the head when they said:
Google’s Russian offices are nothing less of creative. They inspire life and are meant as a way to escape from your daily workload. It’s definitely a place we’d love to spend our 9-to-5 life at.
The Russian gas and oil giant Gazprom is planning to build new office space in St. Petersburg Russia. The new office will be located in the outer parts of the city and was designed by RMJM. The estimated cost will be around 3 Billion USD!
In case you didn’t know, Gazprom is the largest extractor of natural gas in the world and the largest Russian company. It was created in 1989 when the Ministry of Gas Industry of the Soviet Union transformed itself into a corporation. The company was later privatized in part, but currently the Russian government holds a controlling stake.
The company initially wanted to have the tower at a height of 396m, but after certain changes the ultimate height will now be 426m. The project is also to have some green credentials as it will be built on a 17 hectare chunk of brownfield site outside the city of St. Petersburg.
Yandex has opened new office space Russia. Yandex is a Russian IT company which operates the largest search engine in the country, with their market share totalling 64%. Yandex also develops a number of internet-based services and products.Their office space Russia occupies the fifteenth floor of a new business centre in Yekaterinburg, within a building designed to be shaped like a horseshoe.
The new Russian office space project was headed by Za Bor Architects a Moscow based architectural firm founded in 2003 by principals Arseniy Borisenko and Peter Zaytsev.
Wood and cork were used as the main outward facing material, this was done in an attempt to exemplify the company’s humanistic intentions and goals. Thus the use of such warm and welcoming materials was ideal. In contrast to this, expressive furniture and jagged walls were used to help give the feeling of dynamism and creativity – both characteristics any successful IT company will have.
If you are interested in funky office space around the world check out our page for more information.