Who said corporate lobbies need to be clinically boring or prosaically grandiose? Case in point the new lobby that interior design practice AKZ Architectura have designed for the UNIT.City business park in Kyiv. Developed by property developer KOVALSKA, UNIT.City aspires to become the country’s leading innovation hub bringing together technology companies, startups, talents and research laboratories. The team drew inspiration from the project’s forward-looking mission, imbuing the design of the lobby of UNIT.B06, one of the two campuses in the business park, with a futuristic aura by boldly combining a nature-inspired design language with an industrial material palette and minimalist aesthetic. Characterised by undulating forms, sculptural volumes and contrasting textures, the space organically unfolds, guiding visitors across a landscape setting of airy lightness, gleaming reflections and verdant pops of colour.
Strategically zoned after modelling the flow of people and marking the busiest spots, the open-plan space features a lounge area, astutely located next to the floor-to-ceiling windows to take advantage of the plentiful natural light, a communal area centred on a discussion table, a mailbox area and an elevator lobby. An undulating wall of mirror-polished stainless-steel stretching along one side of the lobby both spatially and visually ties everything together. Prominent and striking, the mirrored wall imbues the space with a sense of infinity as well as produces playful lighting effects throughout the day.
Lining the building’s glass façade, a sinuous series of sofas that echo the winding lines of the mirrored wall are paired with monolithic coffee tables in stainless steel. Originally designed by acclaimed French designer Pierre Paulin in 1967, the Osaka sofas are upholstered in three different green textures from Kvadrat Textiles, adding touches of colour in the otherwise monochromatic, grey-toned interiors. Green accents can also be found in the sitting alcoves that emerge out of the stainless-steel wall.
A custom-designed wooden reception desk that curves around a concrete column further adds warmth, as do the organic-shaped wooden meeting table and stools found further down the space. Both elements, the latter paired with a tree-branch like suspension lamp, enhance the lobby’s sculptural rigour and nature-inspired sensibility, amplified even louder by an artificial rock formation that looms beyond the undulating wall. Housing the restrooms and technical spaces, the gigantic rugged concrete structure stands out amidst the lobby’s smooth lines and gleaming surfaces, adding further natural details as it is planted with real vegetation.