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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.

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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.

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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.

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D

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