Innovative modular headquarters opens in Ekaterinburg

30 April 2021
Credit: Foster + Partners
  • Foster + Partners
  • Foster + Partners
  • Foster + Partners
  • Foster + Partners
  • Foster + Partners
  • Foster + Partners



Foster + Partners create workspace for world-leading copper producer

The new headquarters of one of the world’s leading producers of copper has opened in Ekaterinburg, Russia, with an innovative design by TenderStream members Foster + Partners that reimagines the conventional cellular office. The fifteen-storey building’s modular units are enveloped in an energy efficient enclosure, which provides a distinctive symbol for the city and reflects the purpose of the client company RCC.

The triangulated form of the building draws inspiration from the chemical structure of copper, while the crown of the building integrates RCC’s new logo – a rebranding which has, in turn, been inspired by the architecture. Rather than create conventional large, communal workspaces, Foster + Partners designed rooms on a more intimate, domestic scale. The practice’s workplace consultancy group analysed the client’s operations in order to devise the modular system, which was further developed with the in-house engineering teams to enable rapid construction and ensure ideal levels of natural daylight for concentrated work. 

Each two-storey module comprises a pair of offices, stacked one on top of the other and arranged in rows on either side of a central hallway, with lounge seating and views of the city through the glazed lift shaft. At level fifteen, the space is top-lit to create a flexible space for company-wide gatherings and events.

Responding to Ekaterinburg’s wide temperature range between seasons – often from +30°C to -30°C – the balance between solid and glazed areas is designed as a reaction to low level winter sun, while mitigating the heat of direct sunlight during the summer. The glass facades overlook the city and the recently landscaped riverbank, while the green areas flow into a private garden for the staff. A sequence of ‘external rooms’ provide peaceful spaces for staff to relax and eat lunch. 

Jeremy Kim, Partner, Foster + Partners, stated: "Together with the client, our integrated team has developed a bespoke solution for RCC’s new headquarters that is a perfect fit for the company and the very nature of their work. Everything from the building structure to the bespoke furniture was designed specifically for the company, illustrating our commitment to craftsmanship."

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

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