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Offices of Yandex, Russia’s Top Search Engine, Are More Gulag than Google

The workplace of your average Internet company is like, a totally fun, super-awesome, big-kid dorm room. Bean bags mandatory! Unless, of course, you’re talking about Russia, in which case it’s about as quixotic as Soviet public housing. That’s not entirely a bad thing.

Consider the new office of Yandex — Russia’s very own Google — in Yekaterinburg. Designed by za bor architects, it’s almost violently minimal. The only real decorative element here are the wooden walls, which zig-zag every which way; some actually look like sharpened knives. Furniture’s practically non-existent, and the corridors are so narrow and barren they feel like a gauntlet (or is that some tricky photography?). In Russia, as a great philosopher might’ve said, offices work on you.

All jokes aside, it’s one of the most unique interiors we’ve seen out of Russia in a while. And with some nice materials choices — wood, cork, carpet — it even manages to feel warm and sophisticated. It’s also refreshing to see an Internet company that isn’t straining so hard to look like it’s having a good time. Seriously, dudes. It’s not 1999 anymore. The Internet has moved beyond its college days; it’s high time your offices do the same.

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