MTH is the Museum of Telephone History, which was established at the initiative of the management of Mastertel, a telecom service provider.
The office is located in a separate building in downtown Moscow, close to the Garden Ring and Mayakovskaya metro station, so the context of the historical urban environment matters in this project. We combined aesthetic of Soviet Post-constructivism attributed to the building itself and its location and contemporary minimalist approach.
The building was derelict and was in need of renovation. We worked both on designing the interiors and on renovating the facades and the entrance hall. The old staircase was replaced with a new reinforced concrete staircase. The windows on facades got larger and we also added a visor above the main entrance.
The large mural opposite the entrance, created in the style of mosaic plafonds of Mayakovskaya metro station, and brass as a material for the guardrails are used to elicit certain associations with late Soviet avant-garde architecture and the decorative approach of the future Soviet Empire style.
In contrast to the building facade we have created a contemporary interior space, combining straightforward forms, clean lines and a simple material palette.
The starting point for MTH Office was to create a space for work with good spots for meeting and exchange by simple means. We tried to make it an office we would want to spend our own afternoons in.
The layout is quite efficient. The meeting rooms, the WC and the storage area are arranged along the blank wall, while the workspaces, the reception, the co-working space and the cafe are concentrated on the opposite side by the front windows.
The office occupies the attic floor and the height of the ceiling is low, so we installed attic windows – that helped to transform this interior into a better space, filled with natural light and air.
The main open-plan workspace consists of the modular desks used in combination with the sideboards and cabinets that adapt to the current needs.
A long desk goes from the reception through the co-working space to the cafe, being a central element that connects these three zones with different functions. The cabinet behind the reception desk separates the active space near the entry from the quiet and focused work zones toward the back.
The key visual feature is the end wall designed from plywood panels. This decorative element is aesthetically opposed to the mural downstairs and also gives the identity to this space and brings the sophistication and the energy of creation that an office needs to have.
All the furniture and elements are designed by us from plywood, selected for its light color, warmth and also because it’s low cost material. We had to stay within a tight budget in this project but it’s also an aesthetic choice.
The ascetic material palette, which also include concrete stucco and glass helps to perceive the entrance interior and the office space as a common concept.