Moscow’s Flagship McDonald's Undergoes a Renovation to Entice its Urban Clientele

The newly updated Flagship McDonalds in Moscow. Photography by Andrew Meredith. 

30 years since McDonald's first brought service with a smile to Moscow, the brand’s local flagship in the city’s bustling Pushkin Square underwent a renovation. Project lead Wayne Cheng, design director at Landini Associates, who happens to be a frequent collaborator with the global brand, ensured the restaurant could accommodates over 500 diners, given that it’s the most frequented McDonald’s in the world. To connect the multi-level interior with its urban surroundings, Landini Associates implemented an aesthetic Cheng calls “both bold and restrained.”

Zone dividers are transparent, offering diners views throughout the space and out to Pushkin Square. Photography by Andrew Meredith. 

Inviting diners and those passing by to engage with the Pushkin Square locale, Landini Associates designed part of the building’s exterior as a “brutally simple box” clad with mirrors that reflect the outside activity within the dining space. To align the street-facing seating, complete with angled mirrors on the backwalls, Cheng and his team created an open floorplan. “For a flagship,” Cheng says, “we wanted to make it cool again—bring back the millennials with a more urbane interior.”

The McCafe section features lounge inspired seating and coffee bean wall graphics. Photography by Andrew Meredith. 

While the McDonald's iconography is recognizable globally, Landini Associates stripped back the playful colors and oversized arches. Pared down graphics reference the menu in subtle ways, such as wall cutouts that resemble the sesame seeds on buns. And for added safety precautions, the dining area is equipped with tinted glass space dividers. As for the main entry, Landini Associates opted to relocate it to be closer to the metro station, using the screens and yellow arches to carve out a circulation path, coaxing visitors into the new and improved space for a tried and true bite to eat.   

The iconic yellow arches are a feature, but not a focal point. Photography by Andrew Meredith. 
Diners experience a different ambiance in each defined zone. Photography by Andrew Meredith. 
Vertical graphics reminiscent of french fries decorate the concrete walls, with only a select few painted yellow. Photography by Andrew Meredith. 
The space features multi-leveled seating. Photography by Andrew Meredith. 
The yellow staircase enclosures simplify wayfinding. Photography by Andrew Meredith. 
Suspended lighting accentuates the mirrored surfaces of this dining area. Photography by Andrew Meredith. 



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