When Design Father visited Moscow for the preview of the Holiday 2015 Nike sneakerboot collection, we just had to see the recently opened Dominion Office Building, designed by Zaha Hadid, for ourselves.
This was one of those rare times that Design Father was rendered speechless, but we later managed to pull ourselves together and share our impressions.
Located in Moscow’s southeast district, the Dominion Office Building is hard to miss in this primarily industrial environment. Featuring reimagined elements of the Russian avant-garde styles of the 1920s, its façade resembles a stack of rectilinear volumes off-set from one another, with ribbon windows wrapping each floor. But, as if often true in the most interesting occurrences, its real beauty isn’t on the surface, but hidden at its core.
The staggered form of its exterior is reflected in the interior, with curving balconies at each level corresponding to the displacement of the outer envelope. The balconies overlook the atrium rising through all the levels, allowing natural light into the building.
The building’s most striking feature however, are the staircases that crisscross the central atrium, connecting the floors. This series of staircases, with their white balustrades and high-shine black treads, intersect through this central space, each one apparently inextricably linked to the rest. The optical illusion effect is further enhanced by black stripes appearing as elongated shadows across the white floor of the lobby.
The overall impact of the interaction between these intertwining but contrasting monochromatic elements is truly spectacular.
Apart from its striking design, functionality is also a key characteristic of the Dominion Office Building.
Designed to house the city’s growing IT and creative sectors, the large, open-plan office areas are organized around rectangular bays, allowing for flexibility in allocating office space according to each company’s size and needs.
Relaxation areas on the balconies make the atrium a shared space spanning the levels, thus encouraging interaction among employees and collaboration between companies of different services and disciplines housed within the building.
Further meeting spaces and a restaurant with an outdoor terrace occupy the ground floor, making the Dominion Office Building the ideal workspace to encourage interaction, productivity, and creativity.
Dominion Building Project ID
Client: Peresvet Group / Dominion-M Ltd.
Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects
Design (ZHA): Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher
Design director (ZHA): Christos Passas
Project architect: Yevgeniy Beylkin
Designated usage: mixed-use (offices, restaurant & conference facilities)
Area: 21,184 sqm / 228,023 sqf
Footprint: 62m x 50.5m
Height: 36.27m over 9 floors (7 offices floors + 2 floors of underground parking)
Zaha Hadid was announced as the recipient of the 2016 Royal Gold Medal for architecture, making her the first woman to win the prize in her own right.
Awarded annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Royal Gold Medal is presented in recognition of a significant influence on the advancement of architecture. Other notable Royal Gold Medalists include Frank Gehry (2000), Lord Norman Foster, Baron of Thames Bank (1983), Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1959), Le Corbusier (1953), and Frank Lloyd Wright (1941).
This award is the most recent in a series of international accolades for Hadid:
In 2004 she became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize and has won the RIBA Stirling Prize twice: in 2010 for the MAXXI in Rome and again in 2011 for the Evelyn Grace Academy in London.
In 2012, she was awarded the title of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to architecture. She has also been awarded France’s Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Japan’s Praemium Imperiale and is an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architecture (AIA).
In 2008, she ranked 69th on the Forbes list of the World’s Most Powerful Women. In 2010, she was included amongst the world’s most influential thinkers in Time Magazine’s 100 issue.
In 2006, she was honoured with a retrospective of her work at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.