Russia’s capital has experienced a recent boom, so it’s about time it had a commercial office exhibition to reflect the fact - BDG Workfutures’s Phil Hutchinson was there

Arrived at the OfficeNEXT conference at the impressive (it’s quite large) ’capital city’ complex in Moscow. The conference talks are centred around an open atria with a number of exhibitors on the floor above.

An extensive programme 21 speakers all in the one day. Managed to catch the tail end of EC Harris’s ECHQ talk - which was the same as I heard in London at the Corenet session last week. Now this proves it travels well.

The talks are being presented in Russian and English dependant on the speaker - some have slides in the opposite language. Translating devices are provided and very efficient. Sadly the auditorium can’t be more than 25% full in the morning, although by the afternoon the conference is filling up.

Olga Arkhangel of Ernst and Young presents on why there are so few green buildings in Moscow - she points to the circle of investor, developer, agent , occupier stating a case for where benefits could be realised.

On the green debate: dropped in on Interface, who are talking actively about their sustainability involvement, with their LEED expert from France; Ramon Arratia talking later at the conference.

Coffee discussion chatted with Mike Pearce of EC Harris and a local occupier, who say this is a great opportunity and first conference of its type in Moscow, though both are hoping for more debate, questions and panel discussions which would allow them personally to get more from the sessions.

A quick walk through of the exhibitors. Quite a small selection of exhibitors for the conference day. Some mainliners including Knoll, Herman Miller, Steelcase.

The trend show section shows ideas for the future most as concepts. A mention for ’Infiniti table’ a ribbon of work, social and sleep settings - not entirely practicable but a great idea - and ’design factory’ - great concept and graphic presentation and with the abundance of industrial buildings in Moscow for conversion its on the mark.

In summary this really is the type of event that Moscow needs to support the commercial office users and the organisers should be credited. The general feeling here is it should be turned into an annual event ; we might have just more debate and discussion next year.