Chess attracts architects to appeal to design-savvy audience

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The architects, Moscow-based Novoe (‘New’) bureau, managed to transform the 17,000sqft historic former milk factory in the heart of Berlin, into a phenomenal chess championship venue with black and white design, stemming from the colors of the chess board

Who said that chess is not about design and architecture? The world’s oldest sport continues its makeover and appeals not only to chess fans (over 600 million around the world), but is also becoming a design and architecture showcase in a successful attempt to gain global presence.

Following recent redesign of chess pieces by renowned design firm Pentagram, World Chess by Agon Limited, the company that owns commercial rights for the World Chess Championship cycle and organizes the World Chess Championship, commissioned a well-known architectural bureau to design a perfect chess tournament setting.

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Arguably for the first time in chess history, the design of the Championship venue became an integral part of the tournament to the delight of German spectators and chess lovers from all over the world. Two hundred of the world’s top grandmasters, took part in this 5-day championship that determined who is the best in the world of fast chess, a dynamic game with very tight time control.

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The architects, Moscow-based Novoe (‘New’) bureau, managed to transform the 17,000sqft historic former milk factory in the heart of Berlin, into a phenomenal chess championship venue with black and white design, stemming from the colors of the chess board. The strong visual and radiant light was applied to all decorative and architectural elements at the venue, making it attractive for both visitors and TV audience.

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Visitors were welcome into the playing area and felt as if they are on the floor seats at their favorite all-star game. They were able to follow moves of famous grandmasters live, an amazing experience for chess fans.

“Our decision to create two interconnected zones: one for players, and one for spectators, allowed guests to watch broadcast of games with live audio commentary in the conference area, and easily access playing hall to follow games on-the-spot”, says Sergey Nebotov, partner at Novoe bureau.

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