Koltsovo Airport VIP Lounge by VOX Architects

When Boris Voskoboynikov and Nefaresearch Architectural Studio (now VOX Architects and Nefa Architects) were commissioned to design the VIP-lounge of the Ekaterinburg airport, the management was so impressed with the sketches of architects, that the offer to execute the reconstruction of the departure hall came immediately. For most of us, the airport departure lounge is a symbol of the start of holiday, vacations, travel, etc.

There is another category of passengers: for businessmen and employees of large companies flights have become a part of an everyday routine. This kind of business people fly on business trips two, three, or even four times a month, and it can’t be called  an easy share. In this case, couple of hours they spend at the airport between check-in and flight are the real part of their working day, and the departure hall turns into a kind of office.

When designing the interior of the airport, it was important for the architects to consider different pastimescenarios – is it the entry for relaxation, is a part of the everyday work or it refers to other countless options, that life makes it up to us in abundance.But whatever it is, while waiting for the flight a person can relax, work or just have fun, and the entertainment in the airport environment can be shopping or dinning. Thus, in addition to the technical task received from the customer, these particular thoughts became the starting point when zoning the departure hall.In this space the architects have implemented two oval structures, formed by sophisticated spatial walls.

The central oval is the largest by area: there are bars and a food court. You can not only eat, but also work on a laptop or just relax on a comfortable sofa with a cup of coffee. The transparent screen-wall of this zone is made of decorative weaving white pipes.

The walls of the other oval area have a crystalline structure with color accentuated entrances and recruited from perforated aluminum, colored and white glass. Here are the shopping areas – on the one side the assembled famous brands’ shops, the other is a Duty Paid.

Another object that structures the elongated space of the hall is VIP-zone. At its first level there is a bar and lounge zone; on the second, mezzanine – meeting rooms and comfortable, equipped with a shower, restrooms. In the idea of this area there is a literary component, which, in general, is not typical for the architecture, but in this case becomes a successful allusion, suggesting a way of organizing space. The thing is that the volume of sophisticates shapes, placed in the center symbolizes the Ural Mountains, and the insertion of stained glass in it – the Ural gems. The structure recalls to a labyrinth, or a number of connected tunnels. The tunnels are filled with warm light inside and are finished in wood – here are variously arranged cozy relax-zones.

Outside a labyrinth is painted in gray-green color, and its texture is rough – the etched copper and artistic plaster were applied for surface finishing.

The contrast of cold and warm light and color literally draws the visitor into the “depths”. The labyrinth allows him to explore the variety of impressions in relatively small space. In general, these “Ural Mountains” are the attraction, fully functional and at the same time meaningful.

The groups of high-backs lounge chairs of various design, with mounted individual light and the possibility of transformation are placed also outside the tunnels. Here we also see a lot of interesting design solutions, which add charm and the status of the zone for passengers of business class.

Here we can also view a lot of interesting design solutions that give charm and status to the area for business class passengers.

VIP first floor plan

VIP second floor plan

For example, a plasterboard wall with a built-in lighting, where the light is present in two layers, and the direction of the beam is given by the surface geometry. Or a light line – a duplicate form of the parapet that leads the visitor to the mezzanine.  The rest of the departure hall is structured through the use of color. For this purpose, the architects have chosen warm colors from yellow to deep-terracotta, and in contrast, for revitalizing experience, added a bright red and blue.


Multicolored stripes of different widths cross the hall, painting the walls, supporting columns that stand here with a fairly wide step, and the ceiling, that is visible through the interweaving of technical ducts, pipes and batten flooring, graphically laid with a fill rate. Floor throughout the room on the contrary, is single, made of polished concrete. Along the panoramic windows rows of chairs are stretching in the waiting area; the view on the airfield is enliven by the strips of colored glass, and when it’s sunshine the bright glare from them fills the whole airport. It pleases the eye and the heart – wherever and for any reason would fly a passenger, he should embark on board the plane with a light heart.


Location Koltsovo Airport (SVX), Ekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Oblast

Area: 6506.0 sqm

Project Year: 2014

Architect: VOX Architects

Authors of the project: Boris Voskoboinikov, Dmitry Ovcharov, Maria Akhremenkova, Elena Potemkina, Victor Kolupaev

Architectural group: Maria Nasonova, Elena Mertsalova, Margarita Kornienko





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