Foster + Partners
The 15-storey RCC Headquarters in Ekaterinburg reimagines the conventional cellular office to set new standards in quality, comfort and flexibility. The innovative modular office units are enveloped in an energy efficient enclosure, which provides a distinctive symbol for the organisation. RCC is one of the world’s leading producers of copper and the triangulated form draws inspiration from the chemical structure of copper. The crown of the building integrates RCC’s new logo – a rebranding which has, in turn, been inspired by the architecture. The starting point for the office floors was to reinvent the headquarters as a ‘house for staff’ – instead of the conventional large, communal workspaces, the rooms are of a more intimate, domestic scale. The practice analysed the client’s operations and helped to devise the innovative modular system for these rooms. Each two-storey module comprises a pair of offices, stacked one on top of the other – this is expressed externally through the double-storey cladding module. The modules are arranged in rows on either side of a central hallway, which functions as a breakout space, 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 events. The design targets a BREEAM Excellent rating. Responding to Ekaterinburg’s wide temperature range between seasons – often from +30 C to -30C – 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.