Thirty years on, Moscow still loves its McDonald’s

by Michael Yates on May 6, 2020 in Architecture , Dose of Design , Interiors , Lifestyle , Top Story , Travel
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It was 1990 and long queues of Muscovites snaked their way across a snowbound Pushkin Square for the opening of the first McDonald's in Russia. Now, some 30 years later, a new flagship store has opened on the site.

Built over three floors with multiple mezzanines, the new design is an experiment in "Non Design" according to Sydney-based designers Landini Associates. The intention is to hero the food, the service and the people who come to enjoy it. To create a 'recognizable neutrality' that allows this to happen.

Concrete, glass, stainless steel and oak form a palette of modern simplicity. The colourful 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 coffee beans that nod to both the heritage and evolution of the brand.

Pushkin Square has one of the highest guest counts globally of any McDonald's restaurant and so the seating layout has been designed to maximize privacy, utilizing mesh screens to achieve this. Zinc, concrete and oak tables and benches help define separate zones, to accommodate families, groups and individuals, and challenge historical perceptions of quick service restaurants by elevating the environment.

Pushkin Square is an evolution of Landini's global format for McDonald's, Project Ray, named after the brand's founder Ray Kroc. Iterations of the Ray Concept have been rolled out across Australia, Asia, Europe and America, and most recently at the McDonald's Headquarters Global Menu Restaurant in Chicago, as well as many other cities.

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