The Headquarters of Belarusian Potassium Company designed by Varabyeu Partners is located in Minsk, Belarus. The general ideology of the building was to employ maximum color, light and glass. The full-glazed facades erase the border between the interior and the outside world, while the dented lines and sharp corners ensure proper reflection and refraction of the sunlight, which produces a genuine shimmering pattern. On the plan the building is pictured with two wings joined together by a stylised crystal made of tinted glass, which adds to the plastic play of the glistening facades. Looked upon from above, the wings of the building resemble the shape of a crystal, while the entire composition looks like a bird facing the embankment of the River Svisloch.
The eight-storied wings are connected with a full-height luminous atrium that joins the crystal entrance hall with a system of staircases and panoramic elevators. Each wing represents a gallery with a greenhouse, which is supposed to create an air of comfort and calm. The basic volume of the building is made up of office premises, a conference hall to seat 180 guests, reception and negotiation rooms, a café to seat 56 customers, guest apartments. The plan provides for an underground car park and a gym. On the whole, the ultra-modern design of the interior strikes the first-time visitor with the massive scale of open space, and simultaneously creates a friendly atmosphere at the expense of smooth lines of the galleries and the stairs in contrast with the facades. Full glazing and the atrium of the central entrance offer a panoramic view of the River Svisloch from every level of the building.
The atrium’s night-time illumination adds a meaningful touch to the crystal shape and stresses it as a symbol of the potash company. The building is located in the downtown area of Minsk, close to the bridge that connects The Winners’ Avenue with Masherov Avenue. The access to the embankment with panoramic views and the close proximity to city’s popular recreational areas would challenge the architects to put much effort into landscape design.
The site landscape creeps down to the river, which prompted terraces with an interesting view of the river’s floodlands and the adjacent areas. Between the building and the river there is an amphitheatre with a playful water fountain intended for open-air events for company staff and townspeople. The plaza in front of the building is a recreational area with sporadic greenery. The water fountain plays both the decorative and the compositional role, as it highlights the central entrance to the building. The plaza is paved with chopped fragments of different colors.
The contemporary philosophy of architecture preaches a maximum use of the building and the adjacent territory. The mixture of functions saturates and enriches the city environment. In our case, we see a combination of business and recreation, which contributes to fitting the office building of extraordinary architectural shape into the city’s downtown area. The design project complies with contemporary standards for aesthetics, ergonomics, functionality and LEED standards.