Russian Copper Company Office Tower in Yekaterinburg, Russia

The sculptural office tower in Yekaterinburg, designed by Foster + Partners for the Russian Copper Company (RMK), shines in copper. It reflects the company's identity in its striking façade and high-quality furnishings.

London-based Foster + Partners designed the new headquarters of the young Russian copper-producing enterprise Russian Copper Company (RMK) in Yekaterinburg. The 88-meter tower is the British architects’ first office building in Russia. 

Metal structure as inspiration

The metalworking industry has always dominated the cityscape in this, the fourth-largest city of the Russian Federation close to the Ural Mountains. The building shell of the office tower is also reminiscent of metal: the shiny, expressive façade replicates the cubic crystal lattice of the elementary cells of copper. 

Walter Knoll has been collaborating with Foster + Partners for many years. The partnership for this project was initiated by our trade partner Solo Ekaterinburg: they were looking for particularly durable furniture with first-class design and high-quality materials to furnish the office space.

Innovative spatial concept

Together with the employees from RMK, Foster + Partners developed the unusual spatial concept for the 18,500 square meter office space. The interior was to express their vital innovative power of the young and dynamic company. In the airy lounge areas that span two floors, our Jaan Living Sofas create comfortable seating areas with Ameo Side Tables – just as perfect for working in a relaxed manner as for sitting back to unwind.

Generous staircases connect the floors with one another. Wood and white concrete give the rooms an elegant atmosphere. In the lobby on the ground floor, Foster 520 Armchairs designed by architect Norman Foster are forming seating clusters. They are positioned on Chimbuka Carpets from our Legends of Carpets collection and set a colorful accent in the minimalist scenery.

Corporate design on the executive floor

Foster + Partners designed the Y-shaped executive desks, reminiscent of the chemical formula of copper, especially for the RMK´s executive offices. The unusually shaped desks were developed in collaboration with Walter Knoll and are made from Fenix, a high performance material rarely used in offices. The special feature of this Executive Desk is its self-supporting steel construction.

The dark, smooth surface of the desk and rounded edges ooze elegance. The concealed technology is integrated in the executive desk in an innovative way. For meetings, employees – either up to four or up to six – take a seat on our comfortable Leadchair Executive in light-colored leather. Each executive office has been assigned an exclusively equipped meeting room. Here, the view of the city can be enjoyed during the meeting on our Leadchair Executive.

Reduced coloring, sustainable concept

In terms of color, the offices are very restrained. Just five shades characterize the entire color scheme of the interior. The focus of the design is on comfort for the employees, who can meet in the café area to exchange ideas. Here our Andoo Barstools line up around the spacious table. The white surfaces and light wood look both calm and prestigious.

A close connection to the outside spaces and the employee garden is created throughout the building by the numerous generous windows. To offset temperature fluctuations of plus 30 degree Celsius in summer and minus 30 degree Celsius in winter, Foster + Partners created an energy-efficient balance between solid in-situ concrete and the glazed surfaces. Triple glazing mitigates solar radiation in the summer and allows heat recovery in the cold months.

Iconic building shape in cityscape and logo

As an icon in the urban skyline of Yekaterinburg, the expressive RMK tower certainly has high recognition value. The façade´s triangular shape, inspired by the chemical structure of copper, is so distinctive that it became part of the new company logo, also triangular, when RMK rebranded.
Ekaterinburg Russian Federation
Space Type
Conference room, Entrance hall, Executive office, Lobby, Open spaces/new work, Lounge
Russian Copper Company (press images)