News

—12.04.2021
Architecture of a country houses

The comfortable architecture of a country houses is based primarily on the contact with nature: it is important that a person, having traveled a long way from the city, does not get to another "city", but finds himself in a natural environment.

—01.04.2021
Transformation of the offices

"The office for the employee becomes a place where he wants to go, not just needs to be." Magda Kmita, partner at Blank Architects, told CRE magazine about the changes taking place in modern offices, where work is now not a necessity, but an opportunity.

—23.03.2021
New interview

Founding partner of Blank Architects Magda Cichon for Pro Rus magazine.

—19.03.2021
Looking for architects

We are looking for a creative, sociable professional for the position of architect!

—18.03.2021
Maxi Mall Kazahstan- work in progress

The interiors of the shopping center are already on progress: take a look inside with us.

—15.03.2021
Blank Architects project was shortlisted in the Moscow Architecture Award 2021

Moskomarchitektura has announced the shortlist of nominees for the Moscow Architecture Prize, a prestigious award that annually evaluates the best new projects in implementation.

—09.03.2021
We are hiring: Visualizer with fluent English

We invite a visualizer to the Blank Architects team to work on the visualization of interior and exterior projects.

—17.02.2021
Blank 360: new 3D-visualization product by Blank Architects

Explore architecture and design on the screen of a laptop or smartphone. Blank Architects has launched a new product Blank 360: we implement VR static tours for interior projects.

—08.02.2021
Residential complex in Lefortovo

Blank Architects created an architecture for a new residential complex of the developer "Argo" in the Lefortovo district.

—05.02.2021
New business center Geolog

Blank Architects creates an architectural concept, interior and landscape design for the mixed-use business center Geolog

mari_details_-6.jpg
Name
Location
Program
Status
Scale
Mari – Shopping Center
Moscow, Russia
Program: Retail, Interiors
Status: Completed
Scale: 50 000-100 000 sqm

—09.05.2016
Mari – Shopping Center

The Interior for the five-story shopping mall, where the main element was an atrium with an enormous skylight above the entrance zone.
The name "MARI" for the mall was chosen by the Client. We followed along with the idea and look at the building as at MARIa – a girl, a lady and a woman - all in one.

 

"The circle plan became the ornament of the interior design."

Magda Kmita
Partner

Conversation —
A non-standard project

Lukasz Kaczmarczyk
Partner

This one — the "MARI" Shopping and Entertainment Complex looks to have been a non-standard project. Can you tell me a bit more about it?

Alexandra Razina
Architect

Ah yes. Definitely. We were asked to design an interior for the five-story shopping mall, where the main element was an atrium with an enormous skylight above the entrance zone.

LK
Partner

Seems more or less standard so far!

AR

Sure, but the unusual aspect was the name for the mall — "MARI," which was chosen by the client. Perhaps the choice of name was just incidental, and yes, connected to the fact that the site was in the suburb of Marino, but we decided to play along with the idea. We decided to view the building as MARIa – a girl, a lady and a woman - all in one.

LK

Well ships are always female, so why not buildings?!

AR

Indeed — why not? The more we thought about it the more it made sense, bearing in mind that Mari could actually have many faces: a mom, an athletic girl, a business woman, and a fun-loving little girl. We decided to dedicate each floor to a different Mari and her varied "moods" or "personas," ranging from the laid back and comfy, to energetic and vibrant.

LK

And how did you achieve this?

AR

Well we created different atmospheres by designing each floor with different floor surfaces, suspended ceilings, columns, furniture, and lighting systems.

LK

A question on a slightly different topic: do you think it's actually possible to create thoughtful architecture for what is essentially a commercial space?

AR

Well.... while this type of project — and indeed many of our commercial projects — are not imbued with deep philosophical intent, I believe that's it's possible to create thoughtful, mindful architecture in any circumstances. If architecture’s original concept can go deeper, it adds meaning to the place it is constructed in. While the average visitor remains blissfully unaware of the architect's intent, it is nevertheless our aim to approach every project — as much as possible — with mindfulness about the use of the space, and where possible — as is the case with this project — to inject some wit and humor into the design process.

LK

Ok, back to the more practical questions: tell me about the circular shape of the whole complex.

AR

Yes, it's a repeated theme: we capitalized on that idea as well and used the circle as the main shape for the interiors. They change in shapes, sizes and colors with each floor. The main atrium is full of colors and circle elements.

LK

And a lot of glass additions.

AR

Yes. The side atriums have glass finishing from the balcony bottoms and to the pictograms on the glass walls. There are glass art pieces mixed in with lighting elements hanging in the center. In the last atrium at the back side of the building, where we can see the river front, we have added a hanging, light fixture sculpture. We used light, bright colors in the mall and added colors as accents to the furniture, the details of the wall-hangings.

LK

And quite a mix of materials, which is something unusual in a shopping center.

LK

And quite a mix of materials, which is something unusual in a shopping centre.

AR

Yes definitely. There's a real mix of colors, and materials: tile, metal, wood, graphics, and furniture on the third floor in the food court area. In the middle, we designed wooden 3D trees that branch out above different seating areas. Lighting elements add brightness to the area where the skylights are missing. We placed simple but different-styled seating on a very colorfully designed floor. To make it cozier we added natural greenery.

LK

And a lot of natural light, I see.

AR

Absolutely. Thankfully the days of those "casino-like" shopping malls where you can't work out what time of day it is after you get inside are coming to an end in Russia, and clients themselves understand that spaces that are entirely artificially lit don't create a positive, welcoming atmosphere. At the end of the day our clients for these types of projects are interested in offering a pleasant experience for visitors and guests — especially in a place like this that is not merely a shopping center, but a complex that contains office space, and areas for sport and entertainment. It's essentially a hub of activity, and as such, needs to engage and attract people who are likely to spend considerable time there. And that part of the job is something that we can assist with!

Team
 

Lukasz Kaczmarczyk
Partner

Magda Cichon
Partner

Magda Kmita
Partner

Piotr Fafara
Partner

Elena Dzyuba
Lead Architect

Agata Stebel
Lead Architect

Alexander Nereviatkin
Architect

Adam Jura
Architect

Maxim Matyashov
Architect