It is useful to note that this project is to some extent a return to the roots of the cooperation of za bor architects and the largest Russian IT corporation Yandex. The first office developed for Yandex by za bor architects is in the same building of the Benois Business Center in Saint Petersburg, but on a lower floor.
In 2008 the project had a brilliant premiere published by almost all of the leading architecture and design media in Russia. The project has picked up many awards over the years. Four years later, za bor architects and Yandex have decided to repeat the success on a larger scale. The Yandex Saint Petersburg Office II is almost twice as large as the previous one, and houses the entire fourth floor of the building with a 655-foot-long corridor and a total floor area of 35,628 square feet.
The clients wanted an “extraordinary office like no other,” and the architects discovered two primary challenges. The first challenge was to organize a very complex space stretched along a central corridor axis. The second challenge was to make the office as showy and impressive as possible. Peter Zaytsev and Arseniy Borisenko — the project architects — decided to use double-loaded zoning, with meeting “cells,” work areas, and unusual objects located along the corridor.
These unusual objects were provided with a particular function. As a result of this concept implementation, visitors find themselves inside the Yandex search service: at the reception they are met by a well-known “search” button and a yellow arrow (an unofficial Yandex logo and a significant part of the website).
While passing the corridors visitors also see the familiar user name and email password input boxes, and at each step they meet symbols and icons of Yandex services, although they are not always easy to recognize as tiny pixelated icons turned into 3D objects. Hence visitors to the office absorb a unique and transcendental background.
The architects successfully transformed formerly 2D objects to 3D, with the pixelated objects growing to gigantic proportions. Thus, according to the architects’ conception, visitors and employees of the office are actively involved in Yandex net services, whereas previously they were accustomed to working exclusively with a 2D screen. Bright colors and spots scattered here and there guide visitors through the office and cheer up the office environment.
In terms of function, many of the major elements seem to be decorative only at first glance. However this is not the case, for example, the spiral elements function to separate the informal communication zone from the corridor. The casted polymer jellyfish clocks contain network printer stations, and so on.The project turned out to be a complex and intricate endeavor, and many solutions were made on the spot during on-site designer supervision.
As Yandex offices have a 24-hour operation schedule, the space was provided with a variety of well-developed recreation zones. In addition to working areas and rooms, the office has a gym, cafeteria, showers, and several coffee-points. The number of formal and informal points for negotiation, two lecture halls, and workplaces perfectly equipped with Herman Miller and Walter Knoll systems, make this office a place of attraction and fascination..