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MVRDV opens up heritage building in Poland with three-storey glass wall and open-air terrace
Poland Architecture News - Jul 17, 2020 - 12:21 4259 views
MVRDV has transformed a heritage building into a dynamic creative hub in Wrocław, Poland. Named Concordia Design Wrocław, the building is opened up with a three-storey glass wall and open-air terrace by glass walls on all sides, providing views onto the city.
Located on Słodowa Island in Wrocław, the 7,000-square-metre program includes co-working spaces, an event venue, a food hall, a café, and a rooftop terrace.
The project was realized as a renovation and extension of a 19th-century listed building, retaining the façade of the existing building and adding a contemporary extension to create a focal point for the neighbouring park and a destination that will enhance the experience of the island for visitors.
"Słodowa Island has a complex and important history – the existing building is the only structure that remained on the island following the Siege of Breslau in World War 2 – but the island has also become a meeting place for the city’s dynamic youth and its forward-thinking creative culture," said MVRDV.
"With Concordia Design Wrocław, the aim was to respect both these features of the location, resulting in a building with no ‘backside’ that opens up to visitors in both directions."
MVRDV's design is thus influenced by depictions of Janus, the Roman deity of transitions, time, and duality. The form and interior layout of the building displays a certain symmetry, with triple-height stepped voids at the entrances on each end of the building.
However, within this symmetry there are clear distinctions between the “formal” end of the building, featuring the retained façade of the historic building, and the new addition. On the formal end, the entrance space hosts the café and exposed brick walls from the original building.
The informal end of the building faces the park and hosts the food hall. Reflecting the energy given to the park by the city’s young people, this end of the building is transparent, modern, and inviting, with a three-storey glass wall that opens up to the park revealing a large mural by Polish artist Alicja Biała.
The main theme of her work is slow pace, respect for everyday life, deceleration, and contact with nature. Realistic characters are depicted side by side with imaginary creatures.
"One of the most interesting aspects of Wrocław is the city’s busy public realm and use of the riversides. As the heart of this outdoor activity, Słodowa Island is a unique and fascinating place," said MVRDV founding partner Nathalie de Vries.
"Concordia Design’s Wrocław combination of a historic structure, a vibrant mixture of creative and exciting businesses, and new attractions working in harmony with the island’s public space will cement Słodowa Island’s reputation as the place to be in Wrocław."
MVRDV maintained the existing building's roofline as part of the extension. The window openings on the extension match those on the historic façade, becoming wider and more transparent closer to the informal end of the building.
Besides the café and food hall in the entrance spaces, the rest of the 4,500-square-metre building hosts co-working office spaces, while the uppermost floor features an open-air terrace, protected by glass walls on all sides, providing views onto the city.
"Together with MVRDV, we wanted to create a democratic space that would integrate different groups of residents," said Ewa Voelkel-Krokowicz, CEO Concordia Design.
"We tried to understand the unique character of the place, its history and potential. Both creative communities and young businesses will find their place here – and on the other hand, everyone who wants to spend their free time in a well-designed space, looking for interesting events.
"From the very beginning, our goal was to keep Słodowa Island open. Concordia has a chance to combine this potential with new needs and attract new users."
Plan for the building
Concordia Design Wrocław is designed for Concordia Design, in cooperation with the local architect Q2.
MVRDV was set up in 1993 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries. MVRDV engages globally in providing solutions to contemporary architectural and urban issues.
Project name: Concordia Design Wrocław
Location: Wrocław, Poland
Client: Concordia Design
Size and programme: 7,000m2 co-working, conference rooms, restaurants
Founding Partner in charge: Nathalie de Vries
Partner: Fokke Moerel
Design team: Luca Moscelli, Mateusz Wojcieszek, Matteo Ornato, Brygida Zawadzka, Bartosz Bochynski, Carolin Cremer, Michal Bala.
Visualisations: Antonio Luca Coco, Pavlos Ventouris
Strategy and development: Willeke Vester, Greetje Wieringa
Copyright: MVRDV 2018 – (Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries)
Client: Concordia Design (Ewa Voelkel Krokowicz, CEO; Aleksandra Chachaj, external project manager)
Local Architect: Q2 (Maciej Janczyk, Marcin Kucharski)
Mural Artist: Alicja Biała
Contractor: DEMIURG, WEGNER
All images © Juliusz Sokołowski
> via MVRDV