Innovative Office Spaces in the Archdaily Finale – Bełchatów and Poznań
no-image, Innovative Office Spaces in the Archdaily Finale – Bełchatów and Poznań
Two new Polish structures have been shortlisted as finalists of the Archdaily.com Building of the Year competition. Things are now in the hands of the internet audience, as they are the ones to vote in an open poll.
PGE Górnictwo i Energetyka Konwencjonalna S.A. in Bełchatów, photo: www.archdaily.com
Set up in 2008, Archdaily is the best known internet portal devoted to architecture. Each month it gets up to 70 million visits. The creators of Archdaily underscore that their mission consists of not only presenting the best designs and realisations but also in educating visitors to the website. Archdaily is known to publish images of newly raised and long-awaited structures within days of their completion. The editors boast that they address an audience of …6 billion – this is, in fact, the number of people predicted to live in cities by 2054. And it is this future community that ought to have good resources and examples for creating future urban landscapes.
One of Archdaily’s initiatives, the Building of the Year competition, encompasses 14 different categories (among them family houses, sports venues, cultural venues, renovations, and interiors). Over a period of three weeks, the internet public is invited to submit their candidates. The jury then selects the five best structures out of the submitted proposals to be then voted on once more by the internet public in a poll.
The interior of an office which functions as a …garage space, design: Ultra Architects / Marcin Kościuch and Tomasz Osięgłowski, photo: © Jeremi Buczkowski
Poles have already had their successes in the Building of the Year competition. In 2012, the Małopolska Garden of the Arts in Kraków, designed by Krzysztof Ingarden & Jacek Ewý won in the cultural venue category. The same year, the Centre for Scientific information and the Academic Library in Katowice was named Building of the Year in the Museums and Libraries category. It is authored by Dariusz Herman, Piotr Śmierzewski and Wojciech Subalski, from the HS99 studio.
Two more buildings stand a chance of winning the title this year, as they made it through through the jury’s selective choice and are up for votes.
One candidate is the office building for the PGE Górnictwo i Energetyka Konwencjonalna S.A. (PGE Mining and Conventional Energetics Enterprise) in the south-western town of Bełchatów. The headquarters and working space were designed by Adam Białobrzeski and Adam Figurski from the Warsaw-based FAAB Architektura studio.
The new building was opened and the offices occupied by employees in 2013. The entire construction stretches out on the scheme of an L. The authors reveal that its form was inspired by the nature of the company’s endeavours. The rusty black slate which covers the socles of the building is evocative of the coal mined in Bełchatów. The clearly distinguished levels of the upper floors, as well as the black ferro-concrete panels intertwined with stripes of glass as a metaphor for electrical wiring with current flowing through it. The FAAB architects have employed very simple means to create a structure very distinct and solid in its form.
Click here to vote for the FAAB project…
The second Polish project competing for the title was created by Ultra Architects from Poznań. The main authors of the design are Marcin Kościuch and Tomasz Osięgłowski, who have created the interior of an office which functions inside a garage. In this case, the inspiration behind this design was the owner’s personal hobby. Economic and ecological factors also had significance. The two architects were provided with grounds and an old, unused storage hall. Instead of tearing it down, they decided to give it a second life and adapt it to its new function.
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Their ‘green’ passion for recycling was paired with the idea of exhibiting the owner’s collection of vintage automobiles. The architects declare, "It was this hobby that became an excuse for creating a space which combines work with leisure".
The industrial aesthetic of the space is consistently maintained throughout the interior and the space design. The architects decided to expose the roof, made of corrugated metal panels, as well as the steel construction of hall and the raw concrete of the walls and floor. The space of the hall is divided into two by a glass wall. One part is taken up by office space and a small conference room, and the other is a garage for the vintage automobiles that the owner conserves and restores by himself. The authors explain:
All of the rooms in the office open up onto the glass wall and a view of the parking spots with the owner’s favorite cars. It is not just a garage that exhibits the automobiles but also a workshop with a lever, tool closets, mechanic parts and a ventilation system for the exhaust fumes
It order to fully maintain the garage aesthetic, the architects introduced a repetitive graphic motive – yellow and graphite stripes that are often seen in multi-storey car parks.
Clik here to vote for the Ultra Architects project…
The results of the 2014 Building of the Year competition will be announced on the 31st of January. But until the end of the month, everyone is invited to vote for their favourite on the Archdaily website: www.archdaily.com/building-of-the-year/us/2014
Author: Anna Cymer, 23.01.2014, translated by Paulina Schlosser, 24.01.2014