Landini Associates has designed the recently opened McDonald's Flagship in Russia. The new flagship sits on the site of the first-ever McDonald's in Russia, which opened 30 years ago to massive queues and is today one of the highest trading McDonald's restaurants globally. Built over three floors with multiple mezzanines, the new design is an experiment in 'Non-Design' - the intention is to hero the food, the service and the people who come to enjoy it.
Concrete, glass, stainless steel and oak form a palette of modern simplicity. The colorful graphic environments that long ago became the signature for McDonald's internationally have been replaced with a different approach. The walls of the store intermittently celebrate the menu items, with stylized laser cut line drawings of McDonald's iconic products as well as archery, fries and coffee beans that nod to both the heritage and evolution of the brand. The design, 'Project Ray,' is named after the brand's founder and is a radical evolution for McDonald's.
"Project Ray is aimed at offering customers a calm respite from the non-stop action of Pushkin Square," explained Wayne Cheng, Design Director, Landini Associates. "We used a timeless material palette of concrete, stainless steel, oak and glass as a backdrop of 'recognizable neutrality' promoting the service, the product, and the people who come to enjoy it."
Customers are able to customize their meal and pay for their orders at the modern interactive self-ordering kiosks in the entrance hall beneath an illuminated ceiling. Traditional service and pick up points for takeaway orders are adjacent to these.
Pushkin Square has one of the highest guest counts globally of any McDonald's restaurant, so the layout of seating throughout has been designed to maximize privacy utilizing mesh screens. New seating types and areas have been created to accommodate families, groups and individuals. Zinc, concrete and oak tables and benches help define these zones, challenging customer's historical perceptions of quick-service restaurants by elevating the environment. A unique key addition to Pushkin Square is the introduction of a new FreeStyle Step Seating.
"We live in a constantly changing world. There are fewer constants than ever before. Food however is and can be one of these. Eating is a fundamental human interaction," said Mark Landini, Creative Director, Landini Associates. "A place of commune where we behave as we have for millennia. We need a visually quiet place to do this in so we can hear each other talk, laugh, argue and cry. Creating simple places and spaces is much harder than creating loud and fashionable ones, creating memorable simple spaces is harder still. This project overcomes the challenge of creating a quiet, neutral, classic space that is memorable too."
The look and feel of McCafe have evolved to be entirely timber as a way to make it warmer and more inviting to customers and to differentiate the independently serviced café from the rest of the restaurant. Throughout the store, mirrored ceilings are used to increase perceptions of height & open views and reflect the iconic Pushkin Square, creating energy in the space whilst still allowing it to be a place of calm and respite, 'a bubble of happy,' from the outside world. A new lighting scheme has been conceived to deliver a calmer, more intimate experience that encourages customers to slow down and relax.
Photography: Andrew Meredith