A cinema theater has thousands of square meters of space and millions of yearly visitors. The Ratiohead team has met this challenge by anticipating the wear resistance of all structures and materials, considering their cost, and developing the design that should look contemporary, inviting and comfortable on the opening day and through the next 10-15 years.

Project Name: Cinema theater Planeta Kino at River Mall in Kyiv
Office Name: Ratiohead
Office Website: https://ratiohead.ua/
Firm Location: 85 Saksaganskogo Str., office 1, Kyiv, 01033, Ukraine
Completion Year: 2019
Gross Built Area (m2/ ft2): 4760 square m2
Project Location: 12 Dniprovska Quay Str., Kyiv, 02081, Ukraine
Program / Use / Building Function: Сinema theater
Lead Architects: Kyryl Yelchyts
Photo Credits: Andrey Bezuglov

Cinema theater Planeta Kino at River Mall in Kyiv by Ratiohead - Sheet4
©Andrey Bezuglov

Another task was to think through the visitor traffic patterns and to make sure that people flows do not get in each other’s way and do not create jams or obstructions. We treated each theater for the new mall as a large-scale creative design: as the project progressed, some initial ideas were modified and new concepts and additional functional space elements were added.

In this project, the main idea was to make the space open and visitor-friendly, without overly complicated navigation elements. The geometric shapes of the ceiling, the allegory of the Milky Way and its transition to the walls and the floor turn the whole theater space into a unified world of impressions. The volume is built on movement and transition of shapes.

Cinema theater Planeta Kino at River Mall in Kyiv by Ratiohead - Sheet5
©Andrey Bezuglov

The Milky Way starts in the skylight dome of the mall and descends into the theater’s foyer, directing visitors to fancy portals of each auditorium: Cinetech+, 4dx, Imax with Laser, as well as to the concession stand with thermal counters for popcorn and other products, Re’lux cinema restaurant with three VIP screening rooms and an open kitchen serving the lounge area and the three auditoriums during the shows.

The auditorium portals are important navigation guides designed to draw visitors’ attention to the entrances. Cinetech+ and 4dx auditoriums feature massive plywood portals splitting the foyer space and visually carrying the load of the cinema theater structure; while a light, open portal emerging from the Milky Way leads to the entrance to the flagship Imax with Laser auditorium.

Cinema theater Planeta Kino at River Mall in Kyiv by Ratiohead - Sheet7
©Andrey Bezuglov

This portal’s geometry derives from the ray of light emanating from the projection room and illuminating the screen during the show. Sinking into this beam of light provides visitors with unforgettable experiences. The transition from the Milky Way into this portal area is also a deliberate design element that allegorically links the theater design with the cinema technologies of the auditoriums.

All structural elements and infrastructure components of the foyer are open and painted in graphite, presenting a neutral backdrop for the interior pieces designed specifically for this project such as sheet metal and plywood armchairs; sofas embedded in walls in spaces under the auditorium floors, thus maximizing space utilization; counters and stands of the concession area; and even fancy trash receptacles. One provocative and unconventional feature is the varying elevation of the washbasins in the bathrooms, something people of different heights can play around with. The standard-height wash basin is marked in yellow, while others invite visitors to experiment and find the one that best suits their specific height.

Cinema theater Planeta Kino at River Mall in Kyiv by Ratiohead - Sheet9
©Andrey Bezuglov

Before the implementation, all design elements went through a joint testing effort by the Ratiohead team and the Planeta Kino client team.

This design is the result of the truly close and fruitful collaboration between the architect, the client and the client’s team through all stages of implementation, continuous testing and improvement, which has led to the full realization of the original bold vision of the project.


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