Evolution Design develops the new headquarters of Sberbank
Swiss architectural and design practice Evolution Design, in partnership with Russian architectural office T+T Architects, has developed striking new headquarters for Russian bank Sberbank. An internal atrium acts as a remarkable centrepiece for the scheme, complete with a suspended, diamond-shaped meeting space, 20m high green walls and a series of cantilevered meeting rooms.
The architects faced an ambitious challenge. Sberbank is the largest bank in Russia and Eastern Europe and is currently developing a new corporate district in Moscow. As part of this development, Sberbank commissioned Evolution Design to completely reconstruct a 30,000m2 shell and core building into a new multifunctional head office featuring agile workspaces, a multi-function conference venue, various meeting rooms, coworking areas and a restaurant for 400 people.
The internal atrium forms the basis of the architectural concept. Two 20m high green walls are reflected around the space by strategically placed mirror panels. Six cantilevered meeting rooms protrude into the atrium, adding a further sense of colour, life and energy. The focal point of the atrium is the diamond-shaped, mirror-clad meeting space, strung across the centre of the atrium with high tech cables and connected by a glass bridge to the 6th floor offices.
Using a hidden load-bearing steel frame and a thin triangulated structure on which transparent and mirrored panels have been fixed, the structure appears to float in mid- air. Its asymmetrical panels reflect the surrounding atrium, giving the diamond a changeable appearance when viewed from different positions.
«The idea is to reflect the company’s ethos of being fluid and agile in its business. This suspended meeting space, which was technically very challenging to deliver, is a symbolic expression of the bank’s vision and ambition,» says Tanya Ruegg, creative director at Evolution Design.
The architects have also inserted a two-storey 500-seat conference centre into the first and second floors of the atrium, with walls and ceiling constructed of 1136 individual triangular acoustic panels. The conference venue also houses several meeting rooms, each clad in curved perforated metal panels in gold, rose and bronze tones, which lend a sense of quality and fluidity to the space.
«Rather than the static rectangular shapes you usually find in offices, we chose to use triangles and curves wherever possible to give the space a sense of movement. The perforated finishes also give the space a natural feel,» says Ruegg.
The roof of the conference hall has become the heart of the head office. Spacious and filled with daylight and greenery, it features coworking spaces, informal meeting areas and a coffee bar, which act as a magnet in connecting people.
«From here you can look up to see the atrium stretching six floors above. With the offices on each side, the green walls, the colourful cantilevered meeting areas and the mirrored reflections of the floating diamond, the whole space has a very futuristic quality,» says Ruegg.
Sberbank is a leading proponent of agile working principles and Evolution Design has also delivered a series of highly flexible workspaces designed to suit the bank’s model of organising into project teams. Modular designs allow for the free scaling of work zones and each team has several types of meeting rooms, recreation spaces and quiet zones at its disposal. Each floor can become an autonomous unit with its own reception and all the necessary technical areas.