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.”
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.”
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.