Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Foodcourt area in Forum Shopping Centre in Gliwice, Poland by Zalewski Architecture Group
July 15th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Zalewski Architecture Group
The restaurant area (foodcourt) in the most popular and the largest FORUM shopping centre in Gliwice (Poland) covers an area of approximately 1000 m2 . It is located in the main atrium of the facility on the first floor and on two mezzanines above the first floor (not used yet).
The atrium of the building is the central place of the shopping centre – it is the main core of communication linking all levels and an important public area of the building. The atrium is closed from the city with a large glass wall covering the whole atrium width which provides a good view of the city and a large amount of natural light inside. In addition, large skylights in oval shape on the roof give extra light to the atrium. All that create a specific warm and sunny climate and the foodcourt in such a warm and sunny atmosphere is an ideal place for rest and relax. This feature is rarely seen in such objects of public use.
Visual links between the surrounding and the natural light were our inspiration for the project. We wanted not only to maintain but to intensify the natural beauty of the interior. The main idea of the design was to introduce elements of nature, natural environment – a sort of “artificial landscape” – and a garden into the interior of the building. In the interior design we used components relating to various nature elements such as lights in the shape of clouds, stylized trees, garden lamps and “stone” sofas “. In order to make the space light and fresh we applied many transparent, white and natural wood elements which combined with other elements create a unique spring climate in the foodcourt. Furniture and different types of Vitra company chairs manufactured in individual colors perfectly complement the design.
The idea of the design includes also the functional arrangement of the foodcourt area. Its key part is a large open consumption space surrounding the entire atrium. It is divided into different functional zones: a rest zone (locals next to the glass façade overlooking the city), a restaurant zone, a business zone and a fast-food zone. The foodcourt will comprise of 10 different catering units located around the atrium at the level of consumption hall and at the level of mezzanines.
The mezzanines are closed areas separated from the two-storey foodcourt and look like “capsules” suspended above the consumption hall . They provide an intimate place for independent restaurants with their own consumption halls. The facades of “capsules” are made of coloured glass so as to ensure access of light to their interior and also so as to provide a good observation point for both the atrium and the city. Glass walls also provide insight into their interior – including kitchens of the restaurants.
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