In 2008, when za bor architects and Russian IT-corporation Yandex first decided to collaborate, they had no way of knowing how big of a success it will be. The launch of the first office was such a breakthrough, that four years later, za bor architects and Yandex decided to repeat the process. However, this time it would be on a much larger scale.
Yandex Saint Petersburg Office II is located in the same building of the Benois business center in Saint Petersburg as the first office, but on a lower floor. The second office was to take up the entire fourth floor of the building (total floor area 3310 sqm), making it almost twice as large as the initial office.
Za bor architects describe the process as somewhat challenging. The initial plan of the space had a corridor about 200 meters long. One of the biggest challenges was to organize a fairly complex space alongside a long central corridor axis.
The second biggest challenge was to create an office space that is “showy and impressive”.
After a long thought Peter Zaytsev, and Arseniy Borisenko, the project architects, decided to use the double loaded zoning, with meeting «cells», work areas, and unusual objects located along the corridor. The unusual objects being provided with a particular function.
Project architects Peter Zaytsev and Arseniy Borisenko, decided to transform the space using Yantex’s branding and iconography. From the first step into the new office, guests find themselves “inside” the Yandex search engine. The reception welcomes guests with the well-known “search” button and a yellow arrow (an unofficial Yandex logo and a significant part of the web-site). Passing through the corridors of the space, guests see the familiar user name and email password input boxes, as well as many other iconic Yandex symbols brought to life in a 3D form.
The architects managed to create a space by transforming recognizable linear forms, to 3D objects. The space guides people through bright colors and large-scale 3D shapes. While at first glance many of the elements seem to be purely decorative, most of them serve a function as well. The spiral elements are separating the informal communication zone from the corridor, while the caster polymer “jellyfish” clock contains network printers station. The 3D objects were made according to advertising design technologies, most of them being filled with polystyrene foam.
Yandex offices are operative on a twenty-four hour basis. Therefore, za bor architects incorporated into the projects a variety of well-developed recreation zones. In addition to the more traditional working areas and rooms, the office has a gym, cafeteria, showers, and several coffee points. The workplaces were equipped with Herman Miller and Walter Knoll systems to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable working space.
Project by: za bor architects
Architects: Arseniy Borisenko and Peter Zaytsev
Location: Benois business center, Saint Petersurg, Russia
Date of project: 2011-2012
Floor area: 3310 m2
Photographer: Peter Zaytsev
*All images and information courtesy of za bor architects