Office with a Human Face

  • contemporary architecture

For X5 Retail Group Company, ADM Architects Bureau has designed an innovative headquarters that looks more like a business park sprawling freely in the suburban land.


The company that has always taken the notions of “social accountability” an “environmental friendliness” at their face value, ordered the contractors a two-storey country head office that was to be at peace with the surrounding environment and at the same time create, as they put it, the “human-proportional” space. The specifications included detailed instructions on the horizontal connection between the departments and extended social infrastructure. Developing the masterplan, ADM Architects sought to make sure that such “humaneness” was reflected in its look as much as possible. Their solution that they offered consisted of a grid of one and two-floor buildings forming a few courtyards. At the same time, this grid is rather loose, as if drawn by a free hand: the lines deviate from the right angles a bit, which makes the whole arrangement look lively and picturesque. Some of the cells of this grid are grouped to make up one big volume of the conference hall, while the office section borders on the shopping area where the chain stores that belong to the company will be placed. Each crossing of the structures makes up a “knot” that houses the meeting rooms, the computer servers, and the archives; around this knot, this or that department is formed. And, because the departments are different in size, one knot can adjoin from one to four blocks, and, conversely, one department can grow to the size of eight blocks and occupy two knots. In the “linking” buildings, respectively, there are the work places: open space areas for the employees, and the C.E.O.’s offices. It is planned that these buildings are going to be almost completely transparent, and no more than 18-20 meters thick. Some particular shades of color will be introduced into the architectural image of the development by means of glass of carefully selected shades. The main “luxury factor” of this center will be its comfortable feel of the environment, the proverbial “human-proportional” planning and a large number of green areas. The volumes are positioned in such a way that the offices and courtyards are protected from the noise of the Kievskoye Highway that runs nearby.The land site is bit sloped, and this difference of heights allowed the architects to design an underground parking garage, thanks to which all the terrain of the development is freed from cars and turned into a pedestrian-only area.
Text by: Ekaterina Kuznetsova, Andrey Romanov, Tatiana Shovskaya

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