Severstal Steel Mill site design

Task: to renovate a plant site at the price of millions, not billions.

Founded in 1955, Cherepovets Steel Mill belongs to Severstal and is one of the largest steel manufacturers in the world. The company is an integrated steelmaker, meaning that it is engaged in smelting iron ore, pouring steel and producing finished products for the automotive and shipbuilding industries, construction of houses, bridges and much more. The plant occupies an area comparable to that of a small city and employs 25,000 people.

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Over the last several years, the plant has been considerably modernized: new equipment was purchased, shops were repaired. But on the outside it still looked like any other enterprise that’s been around for 60 years.

Now all employees of the mill and Cherepovets residents who happen to drive by will see the transformation of the plant.

Repainting all of the plant’s buildings is like repainting every single house in downtown Moscow, it would take dozens of years and billions of rubles. And as soon as you put the finishing touches on the last wall, you would have to go back to the first one and start again. We found an aesthetic and economical solution for the huge plant site.

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This is beautiful

The industrial landscape has its own beauty that shouldn’t be hidden. The best solution is to emphasize it.

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And this is not

The plant’s landscaping dates back to the previous century. This had to be fixed

Lively industrial landscape

The design is based on bright large-format graphics. Large color spots immediately catch the eye while the outdated façades descend into the background.

Each building of the mill is signed according to its purpose: this is a steel-smelting shop and this is a workshop. The site is now interesting to explore. The stern plant becomes lively and fascinating.

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Each building now has a name, the area no longer looks decrepit or abandoned. Here, everything works, everything has a purpose. Life is bustling
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Each sector received its own graphic motif related to a particular process. For example, in the agglomeration shop sinter dust is obtained from ore dust which is then used to smelter iron. These facilities are marked with a pattern of rounded triangles. And the section rolling shops are painted with a pattern of small circles that look like rebar cross-sections.

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All patterns are purposefully simple to make sure applying them would not require hiring professional artists. Putting such a motif on the wall can be done by any industrial climber, using either a stencil or a projection.

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Patterns are rendered in Severstal’s corporate colors

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Walls that can be seen from main pedestrian paths have more complex graphics such as portraits of top performers or other motivating images.

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Captions both decorate the façades and help people find their way. Navigation meets aesthetics.

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Quick visible changes

The plant’s pipes and cooling towers can be seen from the city, the nearby highways and the river. If you start with them as well as with roofs of other tall buildings, the plant’s appearance will change literally overnight. To achieve this, we employ the recognizable striped graphics and lighting setups.

Stripes are painted or made of metal profile

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Cozy illustrations bring some warmth into the austere surroundings

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Entry point

The second key idea of the design: the space makes its impression on people, so the most important thing is to transform those façades and places that people see and use.

The greatest effect is made not by the building itself, but rather by its entrance. Making it beautiful is enough for the entire building to score the highest marks on people’s internal perception scale.

This idea became the base for a series of standard entrance designs for the entire territory of the plant.

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We also developed projects for individual buildings. An unusual entrance will act as an accent in the space.

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Another way to improve the appearance of a building is to add a bright element to its façade. Overall, we have three options for renovation.

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Complete restoration of the façade
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A beautiful entrance
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A bright accent on the façade

To make sure the new design is introduced gradually and carefully, all plant buildings were divided into three groups: some buildings will have their façades completely renovated, while others will only be refreshed with graphics. Brand new walls will coexist with old shabby ones, and it’s going to look great.

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Friendly environment

The working day of the majority of plant employees begins in the administration building where changing rooms and caféteria are located. People arrive here in the morning before they go to their shops. As the main entry point to the steelworks, this place needs to be as pleasant as possible.

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In front of the entrance there is a pedestrian zone with benches and lamps and a covered bicycle parking. It’s not about looking trendy, many of the plant employees really do cycle to work.

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Rest areas are organized, exercise equipment for warming up before work is installed. The bright red canopies stand out against the background of the mill buildings. The territory has acquired a neat modern look.

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The beautiful heated bus stops are just another example of caring for employees.

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The most modern space in the city

The administration building is the face of the plant and the entire city. Façades of this building will be completely modernized to make the mill look truly modern.

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The area in front of the building will become a place for rest and meetings: there will be a network of walkways, benches and other interesting objects. All trees planted by the plant’s veterans will be preserved as they represent both history and beauty.

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Art objects

Several memorable art objects were developed to highlight important zones and create noticeable landmarks.

Severstal logo rendered as a spiral
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A tremendously large roll of steel
A tremendously large roll of steel
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Furnace keeper. Thanks to the special color scheme the figure appears to be illuminated by molten steel. The effect is even stronger at night
Furnace keeper. Thanks to the special color scheme the figure appears to be illuminated by molten steel. The effect is even stronger at night
Made in 75 days
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