Architects: za bor Architects
Location: Moscow, Russia
Area: 1100.0 sqm
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of za bor Architects
From the architect. The Moscow office of the Badoo company, had to get gifted young programmers together for improvement and development of one of the most popular dating services in the world - badoo.com. The office was created for web developers and focused on technical, not administrative function. The result is very impressive. In fact, the office is located in one of the most luxurious business centers of Moscow – the Legend of Tsvetnoy, which is based in the city center, at the well-known Tsvetnoy Boulevard.
The offices developed by za bor architects are very concise with a lack of decorative elements. The biggest part of their architectural solutions is combined with powerful color accents and original finishing materials. However, in Badoo office, decorative techniques have found their place - there are a lot of unique pods in addition to the light-filled openspace.
The office has a promiscuous planning – working openspace is designed for 122 workplaces. It is located alongside the glass walls around the perimeter of the building. The inner space is divided only by structural columns. Due to the natural texture of concrete, the columns were only covered with a transparent varnish.
Workplaces for staff are designed according to the plan of the office units interaction – (the more employees contact the closer they sit). Since the work areas are at all-glass facade, the opportunity for natural light control is provided – it is done through two types of vertical blinds - weakening the light output by 15% and 100% respectively. This allows office staff to create comfortable lighting conditions. The workplaces are conveniently equipped with monochromic and ergonomic Herman Miller furniture. The places for informal communication are inclosed in expressive space of the corridor which is finished with wood. The visitors are met by elegant Danish Zero Globe 4 arm-chairs. The masses of electrical and electronic communications are wired under raised floors covered with a striped Desso carpet. The ceiling is covered with Isocork sound-absorbing material.
The meeting rooms at the office are absolutely unique and each one deserves special attention. Originally they were supposed to be simply numbered, but then client gave the architects a great idea: since Badoo is a dating site – to call meeting rooms by names of the places where usually people meet. The idea was developed and Badoo is probably the only office in Russia, which has its own «Bar» - where one wall has a spectacular lighting; The «Night club» meeting room is decorated with 40 posters – one wall is fully lined with ones, There is also «Cinema» room, and its name speaks for itself, and «Library» room – perhaps the most exotic place for dating – a library, in which there is no book shelf or cabinet, and the books are hanging on the wall, ignoring gravity. One can borrow any book, and then simply attach is back to the wall. This effect is achieved by magnetic materials coating the walls and books. In addition, the office has its own park (in this small meeting room, flooring imitates the grass, which goes into the vegetation on the photo wallpaper, filmed specifically for this project). However, this is not the only green place in the office: near the entrance there is a real bush – natural plants cover one of the walls here. Next to them, always attracting attention, is a bright yellow statue of Manneken Pis, watering flowers on a green wall – a kind of a joke at the interior architecture kitsch.
This is not the only element of pop culture in the project. As whole entourage was designed in London style (and the company itself), the client wanted to get red telephone booths – one of the British capital symbols. But as it is a commonplace, and these booths can be found in many «original» parts of Moscow. As the business center flooring is not designed for a load of 700 kg (that is a weight of a real booth), the architects have proposed exact copies of the booths painted in Badoo identity colors. The replicas were made in Moscow, and their weight was about 100 kg. The booths are used for their original purpose – for private phone calls.
Since in Badoo, as in many other IT-companies the working day is open-ended, the office provides opportunities for recreation: showers, dining room, gym, coffee-points.
za bor architects rarely uses decorative elements, but in this case, their presence is well-taken - witty details with a combination of dynamic volumes, make the interior sufficiently imposing, achieving an appropriate level of one of the leading IT-companies. On the other hand, the interior has no excessive formalism, and there is a place for famous Albion humor.