The Russian Copper Company (RCC) headquarters is now inaugurated in Ekaterinburg, Russia. To differentiate their first office building in Russia, renowned international architecture office Foster + Partners defies the traditional prototype of office spaces to introduce new ideals in quality, comfort and flexibility.
Foster + Partners successfully echo the leading producers in copper’s practice through the façade and spaces of the building. The units are contained in an energy efficient envelope inspired by the crystal lattice of copper. Thus, the 15 storey office building’s envelope not only becomes a landmark in the city but represents the new logo of the practice, one conveyed by architecture. Rather than having conventional communal workspaces, the HQ becomes a house for staff. The architectural practice takes on a holistic approach where architecture, product and landscape design intersect to investigate the intimate and domestic dynamic between the office space and the employees. The building is conceived through a system of modules where each two-storey module is explored in terms of usage of space in harmony with RCC’s mode of work. The module, made up of a pair of offices, is piled up vertically and articulated in the facade through the cladding module. On the inside, these modules are arranged on either side of a central hallway, creating a breakout space amid of work, with lounge seating and views of the city, made possible from the glazed lift shaft. The spaces transition at level fifteen into a flexible space for company events and gatherings, top-lit through glass lanterns.
That said, the design aims at BREEAM Excellent rating, by responding to Ekaterinburg’s wide temperature seasonal range varying from +30°C to -30°C. – A balance between solid and glass is intended to allow the entry of low level winter sun, all the while averting the heat of direct summer sun. Landscape is also an important aspect of the project articulated in views and leisure spaces. By using glass facades, spaces are crafted to overlook the city and landscaped riverbank, that symbolically reaches the building’s facades and flows into the private garden for the staff. The green area’s landscaping reflects the internal office units, providing peaceful “external rooms” for lunchbreaks and leisure time. Other facilities such as a video conference room, a boardroom, meeting spaces and an executive dining area are included in the building for the staff’s working needs.
The RCC is not only an emblem of sustainability and innovation, it is a reflection of the practice’s vision and way of work, dually prioritizing the environment as well as the staff.