A large Russian mining company seeking a high-end HQ. An elegant building offering 9,000 square metres of floor space in Krasina Street, in the heart of Moscow. And an architectural challenge: transforming an “empty shell” into an office for 700 people, meeting the highest standards of workplace comfort.


The substantial project was awarded to ADA-STUDIO, an architectural practice based in Milan who also have an office in Moscow. The mission: to come up with a 360-degree fitout solution, from custom furniture to exterior design.

Project analysis

ADA-STUDIO’s services were employed to tackle a building split into two areas – with 8 and 4 floors respectively – featuring two storeys of car parking and a generous outside area.

Given the elegance of the building, the architects opted to keep the structure visible, without using false ceilings in the common areas and by designing open-plan spaces.

This also allowed them to make the best use of what little natural light there was given the close proximity of other buildings.

From hierarchical requirements to design: the interiors

700 employees, a host of different departments, and a well-defined hierarchy: how to translate Polyus’s company structure into an efficient organization of the space?

Firstly, the workstations were designed with a combination of open-plan spaces and private enclosed rooms, in line with the different roles within the company.  And Frezza’s K82 partition wall​ – designed to create flexible workplaces with distinct areas – proved more than up to the task.

To improve the quality of worker wellbeing despite a particularly high density of employees, the architects met the client’s brief of introducing informal spaces into common areas.

Materials, colours and mood

The general goal, for the designers, was to create relaxing and welcoming workspaces, capable of conveying a fresh and stimulating mood, the sort of atmosphere you would find in a home.

Mission accomplished thanks, in part, to the use of ONO desks: the blend of wood and aluminium, penned by architects Perin & Topan, gives the workspace personality without weighing down its volumes.

“We decided to work with simple shapes, with a pared-back material palette,” point out the project leaders, “and give the spaces their own identity with a careful choice of colours that would pop against a natural background: a well-considered colour scheme that sets the different elements apart.”

Flooring, doors, desks, furniture, fabric inserts, wall finishes, kitchens and partition walls all come together to create another little slice of Italian beauty that’s perfectly at home in Russia’s capital. In the wake of a passion – a passion for our architecture – without which Moscow would never have got its Kremlin.