ZALA: Ukrainian Paradise for Architects

ZALA is the mobile space for the architects and members of the construction market, which is ready to transform for the needs of each guest and become a free platform for the development and implementation of the bravest architectural ideas. It is difficult to describe this space only in one style: here you can find many elements of loft, aged coarse industrial materials and real classic elements like columns, chandeliers, and podium.
Until 2001 there was a tram depot in the building, where ZALA is placed now, so at the start we get a space with corroded beams – the dream of every architect, who wants to create a true loft. We have understood that these beams are hanging in the air and decided to create a few columns, which also would be corroded. MAD Group’s team members are supporters of natural materials and we use real wood, metal and stone.

We began to collect the first compliments starting from the opening. The reviews of the guests during the opening of ZALA became the real praise for us, when the famous architects paid attention to the columns with the words: “They left the columns, which were at the old tram depot and they really fit into the design. Such a great idea!” This is how we understood that columns have passed the test on the naturalness and authenticity. Also we also made two chandeliers from metal according to our sketches and aged them artificially. Then, we have invited a specialist who are “dressed them up” manually, so that in a sense our chandeliers are handcrafted.

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Since the very first minutes of working on ZALA project we have started to develop zoning of the space. Height of the ceiling allowed us to create a unique double-level glass cube and not to obscure the view by the second floor.

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On the first floor of the glass cube we planned an enclosed space for important meetings and business talks, but the room made their correctives. On this area we made very wide window sills and, thanks to the warm windows and outer walls of the glass cube in this area appears the true warmth and comfort made this place a favourite place for coffee breaks.

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You can get to the second floor by the light cantilever stair, which seems to hang in the air and does not prevent the flow of light and air. Also on the second floor there is one of the most interesting zones of ZALA space – a very respectable and educating relaxation area. This zone is filled with the most innovative technologies like one of the most modern cinema, professional sound and light systems. Moreover, the second floor of the glass cube is an excellent presentation area for meetings in a very comfortable and technologically developed atmosphere.

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In addition, a balcony like a real captain’s bridge is placed here and from it you can see everything that goes on downstairs. Also, it can be easy turned into a great place for a DJ who accompanies the parties in ZALA.

MAD group did everything to create a real atmosphere of creativity and inspiration for the birth of new ideas in ZALA. This is why we have created the largest zone named “auditorium”. Lecturer has a great opportunity to interact with the audience in different ways and for this we have created a podium system. Speaker can start a lecture on the stage, go down and talk to the audience, than walk on the podium, walk upstairs to the balcony and enhance his lecture with multimedia content, which can be demonstrated on 3 screens.

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ZALA is a comfortable modern space, which does not limit to a specific format of the events. In a majority of the most similar spaces in fact walls are the essential background of the event, there are also the auditorium, chairs and screen. All attention in the space is focused on the speaker and the event itself.

While ZALA is much more functional because of the many different zones the space is ready to be transformed for each guest. Here you can sit down with a cup of coffee on a pillow at the podium, choose a place near the warm window, work at the Hive table, you can listen to a lecture or even take the microphone and share something with the world right from the stage!

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The main design development of MAD Group is zoning of ZALA. Space consists of the scene, lecture hall, glass cube, cinema, podium, working office, large wall for exhibitions and library. Moreover, we have created many authors’ developments in objective design for ZALA.

We would like to emphasise our authors’ development Hive Five – mobile table system that can be transformed all the time. The system looks like a honeycomb shape, so we can connect them in various embodiments. This form of tables’ arrangement in the workspace looks like a real bee hive and a manager on the level of association can see the well-coordinated team work – the team members work “like bees”.

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For each working event you can use a new way of tables’ arrangement in the workspace: to combine them into a single island, put in several rows, disperse into several separate groups or individual workplaces.

For architectural group MAD ZALA is something theatrical, exalted and we have made much effort to express it with the entrance to the space. We have made a massive door – about 4 meters high, which adds monumentality and awe. When you came into ZALA you can feel the sense of belonging to something bigger. MAD in collaboration with our partners Factura.UA has created a door that looks like a piece of huge partition wall, which can easily be opened by every visitor. To emphasize this door we have put two transparent glasses on the both sides. Thus, everyone can spill the beans of our unusual project.

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We would also like to express our special gratitude to our partners for the provision of the things that added some home comfort to our design: pillows that add some warmth to our stairs and added new seats for the audience on the most interesting lectures in ZALA.As well as textiles, which allows you to separate the cinema from the workplace and be wrapped up into the movies. Also the Smart Home system and a system of professional sound and light are used on the site.

MAD Group has presented ZALA with an excellent design cover, and now, as the users of this project, we understand that it has a great potential, and now it all depends on the qualitative content, interesting events and their formats.

We hope that in the nearest future there will be many new and interesting events in which we will also participate, and of course we will follow the development process of our project.