Atrium at Bolshevik center wins top prize at Best Office Awards

June 8, 2017. The Bolshevik office and cultural center, the project of O1 Properties, won the prize for best atrium space in Russia’s Best Office Awards, a prestigious annual event, which recognizes excellence in the organization of business space. This year’s success represents a hat trick for O1 Properties: its Lighthouse business center won the Best Atrium award in 2013 and the White Stone center was similarly honored in 2014. The project of renovation of Bolshevik office and cultural center was designed by the British architects John McAslan + Partners.

The glass atrium unites the three sections of the Bolshevik center and is its key organizing element. The atrium exemplifies the combination of history and modernity, which guided conversion of the former confectionery factory and masterpiece of 19th century industrial architecture into an up-to-date business center.

The weight of the atrium’s glass roof is carried by branched columns, which resemble trees swaying in the wind. The roof has been patterned using a silk-screen printing method to obtain a unique play of light and shadow in the interior space, amplified by the branched structure of the supporting columns. At nighttime the columns are illuminated by a soft architectural light, which lends a fairytale quality to the space. The visual effects in the atrium are particularly striking at twilight, when the sun’s rays acquire a bluish tint by refraction through the glass roof, setting off the red-brick masonry of the walls.

A staircase and modern panoramic elevators have been installed in the central part of the atrium, and the heating pipe of the former confectionery factory has been retained and made into a feature of the restaurant space. A temperature of 22 °C is maintained in the atrium year-round, ensuring that visitors feel comfortable regardless of external weather conditions. However, the engineering solution ensures that the air temperature is kept at this level only to a height of 2-3 meters, so that it is not necessary to heat the entire space, making the business center less energy intensive.

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