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.
Business Garden Warszawa Hotel in Warsaw, Poland by Studio Fuksas
February 2nd, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Studio Fuksas
The project hosts several functions, a hotel with 160 rooms, a conference centre for roundabout 800 visitors, an event centre, retail areas, a restaurant a café, office spaces and 280 car parks. All functions are orientated around an open space in the ground floor which is usable as the event centre, as the prefunction of the conference, the lobby of the hotel and a certain space fort the cafè.
The different functions are organized that they can work perfectly separated but can be also joined temporary or even constantly as required. Not only couples of functions but also groups of several functions can be built.
Retail space is located in the ground floor, orientated towards the streets and mostly in addition on their back with the event space.
The building 1 is a complex of functions and with this a complex of interesting forms which correspond on one side the urban requirement towards the streets which are surrounding the Wisniowy Garden development by defining clearly the space of the streets and on the other side playing with the park scenario.
The volume is an addition of a 2 level high base and 3 different volumes on its top. A 5 level high 80 m long block following the Al Zwirki I Wigury Street hosting the hotel rooms, and 2 free shaped forms towards the park hosting offices, one 5 level high, the other one is 2 levels high.
The max height of the complex is 25m which means that the building is treated as a “normal” building.
The cantilevers around the building, which are created by the 3 volumes on the base especially along the streets protect visitors and shoppers from rain and snow.
The base opens itself towards the park and creates on its first floor a large “green” terrace which is accessible from the park side. The terrace is located in front of the restaurant and with this usable for the hotel operator but also for events, or hotel and conference visitors.
A sculptural volumetric strength showing the different functions which had to be integrated in the design process are the basic idea of the complex while taking care about the surrounding aspects of the closer cityscape of Warsaw and the idea of the central Wsniowy Garden Park.
While facades towards streets are straight the façade lines towards the park are moving slightly. The lines bear soft curves, at the hotel volume mostly different in each level. With help of the playing facades and the park which is moving into the building by jumping from ground level to level 1 and further on a strong connection to the green and soft human aspect is created. Soft forms of the office-mushrooms which are looking in direction park and the other buildings of the Wsniowy Garden development unify the different architectures and are creating a dialog with the neighborhood.
The exterior ambient moves into the interior by the curved walls at the entrance, prefunction area and event centre. Round skylights in the ceiling of the event centre bring daylight into the deeper areas of the large open space. Curtains will give the possibility to separate or unify different zones of the event centre with the café and the prefunction area of the conference district.
The close by large conference room offers up to 360 seats. With its double height and its balcony in the first floor the amount of visitors can be raised by up to 90 people. In the back of the conference room there are located a room for technique, a storage and a translator’s cabin. A sluice divides the conference room from the prefunction area not to disturb events by entering visitors.
In the first floor there are located next to the open stairs the balcony of the large conference room, 4 boardrooms for each 50 person and 4 different sized think-tanks. 2 of the boardrooms can be combined by opening a flexible separation wall.
On the “north wing” of the first floor there is located the restaurant with its kitchen and secondary used functions. The restaurant is located directly next to the green terrace with a long glass façade. Nice views from the restaurant to the park create a pleasant ambient of the restaurant.
The 160 hotel rooms in the 5 levels of the hotel volume are east and west orientated. The rooms to the Westside, the street are reduced to the optimum for a cubicle room size. The cubicle system is a prefabricated bed-bath furniture including all necessary functions for a low standard design hotel.
The rooms towards the park are slightly bigger. They follow the outer façade line to the outside and the slightly curved corridor wall line.
The office levels in the office volumes are flexible in their use. They can be separated level-wise in units of roundabout 485 in the lager and 340 in the smaller volume but also separated in one level in up to 4 parts, each around 125sqm.
The organization of the offices can be single offices or open space offices or several combinations. The secondary functions like toilets, kitchen and server rooms are located in the core, together with all technical shafts, the escape stairs and the elevators.
The façades of the 3 volumes are based on a standard aluminum construction of posts and bars.
It is based on a grid of 1.25 at the hotel block and 1.35 at the office forms. The standing constructions are separated for each level. The bars are located at the floor and at the slab, means level high glass and closed elements clad the construction.
To reach a ratio of max 50% glass façade the façade consists of covered cantilevering slabs, closed elements and glass elements in reasonable relation.
ca 85 cm is glass panels alternate with ca 40 cm closed light metal panels. The two posts which host the closed panels are together covered with special designed white colored metal blades.
The metal blades are prefabricated, and probably optimized to 5 different types which can create by flipping and turning them a very interesting and beautiful unique prospective.
Sustainable aspects are besides the good glass-surface ratio having cantilevering slabs and using the outer part of the blades as physical sun shading. They cover the glass elements against energy wins in the summer; and energy losses in the winter because of slowing down the cold winds at the façade.
In addition an outside sun protection screen will be fixed where necessary. Using the standard geometry of the aluminum posts the screens will be a standard product. The shapes of the blades will be cut where the screens have to move and can be by using this technology geometrically diverse from the straight grid of the facade structure.
The lower part, the volumetric base will be covered by a standard steel construction. Large shop windows and Windows to the park will be made my large scale glass-elements. Shop fronts won’t be covered with sunscreens but thanks to the cantilever the shops will be mostly protected by direct sunlight.
The main structure is a concrete structure. The base including the 2 levels underground and the first 2 above are based on a grid of columns of 7.50m on 8.25m which is relatively standard. In some rare points the grid is optimized to the volumes above, means that some columns move slightly from the grid to optimize the structure of the volumes on the base in relation to the functions of the lower floors. The slabs are around 30cm. Under the hotel volume the grid changes from 8.25 to 9.20 to optimize the hotel rooms and the parking scheme in the different levels while keeping the flexibility to change the function of the hotel in a later stage into offices. Potential holes in the slabs from level +1 to -2 are foreseen to give the possibility to change functions from hotel to offices and with this the need of 2 new lifts.
The slab above the base cantilevers towards the streets with 3.50m towards east and 3m north.
This slab is post tensioned to keep the concrete thickness acceptable with ca 30 to 35 cm.
The 3 volumes on the top of the base are standing structures. The slabs of all 3 volumes have post tensioned slabs of 35cm to support the shapes. Additional columns to the columns of the optimized grid of the base are running through the free shaped forms and the base to the foundation. 3 columns which would create massive problems in the driveways in the parking levels are supported by beams of max1,2 mstrength in the slab above -1.
All horizontal forces are brought to ground by using the cores, at the hotel volume 2 cores in a distance of 45m, the 2 office volumes by their stair, elevator and shaft core.
At ground floor the main access to the central space from which all functions are accessible is from Al Zwirki I Wigury Street. Here is located the general information desk, the hotel reception desk and close to that the information and wardrobe for the conference area.
Nearby the desks there is a core with stairs and elevators which bring guests to their hotel room or to the second conference level.
In direct connection to the conference information there are stairs as a direct connection of the 2 conference levels.
In the back, towards the park there are accesses to the office volumes via stairs and elevators, a double lift for the smaller volume and 3 lifts for the larger one. In addition these office lobbys have separated entrances from the south or east side of the complex.
The retail functions are accessible directly from the street. The larger shops can be accessed also from the open space which we call event centre. Also the entrance for the restaurant in the first level there is a separate entrance from the street on the north side but also a direct connection to the event centre. To reach the first floor there is located a stair and the possibility to use one of 3 office lifts of the larger office volume. The kitchen has a separate entrance, also from the north and can use the emergency stairs of the hotel and the back of house elevators of the hotel. These elevators can become office elevators in a later stage. To give the possibility to use elevators for the kitchen potential holes in the concrete slab at the levels of the kitchen to the back of house areas underground are foreseen.
All cores include elevators, stairs and the major part of the shafts.
By polish law required interior heights of different functions are not always feasible in the project.
The limited interior heights are based on the max height of 25m of the 7 floor building.
Office heights are at the moment 2.75m instead of required 3.00m.
In the hotel we reach the required heights. Corridor height is 2.30 instead of min 2.20, the room height is 2.75 instead of 2.50m. If the hotel becomes potentially office-space in a later stage the 3.00m are not reachable.
At the conference centre the heights are not clear as the technical solution is not defined yet. There is foreseen a height at boardrooms of around 3.00m, the think-tank will have less height because of technical installations. The large conference ballroom is with its height of around 7m in the range of the requirements.
The retail height under the technique is around 3.50m, which is higher than the 3.00m required.
Event + prefunction is at the moment ca 3.90m high, but technical solutions for the ventilation might change this actual dimension.
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