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Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's London office appointed to design new residential tower in Warsaw

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's London office has been commissioned by IGD to design a 26-storey high-end residential tower in Warsaw, Poland. The site is located to the west of the city centre in the newly-emerging Mirów commercial, residential and hotel district.
The building will count the new Hilton Hotel amongst its neighbours, and is intended to serve the growing need to accommodate a new generation of Warsaw professionals. The 30,000 square metre development will comprise stylish and sophisticated residential units as well as a luxury health club and restaurants.

IGD is an Irish investment fund which is concentrating in residential development in major cities in Poland. Its goal is to create maximum value for the fund by creating world class projects in superior locations.

SOM was selected in partnership with Epstein, a Warsaw-based A&E firm a branch of Chicago A. Epstein and Sons International, with whom they successfully collaborated on Warsaw's Rondo ONZ development. SOM London was chosen on the basis of its established history of designing high-density residential developments, most recently typified by the 50- and 40-storey Pan Peninsula towers, and the Crossharbour (London Arena) and New Providence Wharf projects in London. Worldwide, SOM is responsible for the residential-led design of Burj Dubai, which, on completion, will be the world's tallest building.

2006 Dziennik
Another Tower building in Wola

Warsaw district of Wola has lately become a location of the most spectacular ,designed investments in our city. The authors of the newest one are internationally renowned architects from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill group. Theirs is also Rondo 1 office building at ONZ roundabout and Tower of Freedom which will be built in New York, in place of World Trade Centre.

There are more and more buildings in our capital city designed by famous architects. Metropolitan office building by Sir Norman Foster and ,mentioned above, Rondo 1 are located in the city centre. Soon their number will be enlarged by an apartment building Złota 44 designed by Daniel Libenskid. Next in the queue is another SOM project which will be located between Kolmex office building and petrol station in Grzybowska street. The beginning of the investment is planned in March 2007. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Group is famous for its outstanding project of Tower of Freedom in the U.S.A, which will be built in place of the World Trade Centre buildings destroyed by terrorists in 2001.
" We have got the building conditions. The project has already been completed and soon we are going to apply for a building permit"- reveals Padraic Coll from IGD. He represents a group which will build the apartment building in Grzybowska street. It is going to be a 84 m high exclusive apartment tower. Its height will be similar to the nearby Hilton hotel.
There will be 27 floors, 1000 sq. m big each. It will consists of 250 apartments. They won't be cheap. The price for 1 sq. m will set between 12 and 14.000 PZL. The project is mainly created for young people, without families and busy businessmen , explains Padraic Coll. As we understand their needs, we want to fulfill them to the highest possible standard of quality. The service will include the apartment cleaning, dry cleaning and shopping. It might remind staying at the hotel but we took the example of the finest apartment buildings in London and the U.S.A - says Coll. Those who will live there, will have an access to the swimming pool and a fitness centre. All apartments will have air conditioning, balconies and big windows. If you don't like air conditioning, you won't have to use it. There is going to be a restaurant on the ground floor. We are looking for an operator right now, who would create a place of a really high quality. - says the developer. The high building will be located in the fastest changing region of Warsaw. The neighboring Hilton hotel is nearly finished. Two apartment Platinum Towers will soon be build next to it. On the opposite side of the street, in the area of former military buildings another huge complex will be created with residential and office space. An interesting project is planned to be build in place of the old Warsaw Brewery by Spanish developer.
It's a great news! - this is Artur Pietraszewski's ( Reas Konsulting) reaction. He analyses the Polish real estate market. The surrounding of Grzybowska street soon will be difficult to recognize. The tendency to use projects done by world famous architects is also a good strategy because it will raise the value of this area significantly. The area ,which will become a modern and trendy city centre very, very soon.

09/2006 Eurobuild
Two towers

The fast growing Polish economy goes together with the fast growing wealth of our society. Lots of people in Warsaw look for high quality living conditions in the city. According to developers this dream can come true by contemporary apartment towers which will be build in the heart of our capital city.

Złota street

Orco Property Group has been presenting its latest investment for some time. It was designed by Daniel Libeskind, internationally renowned architect with Polish roots. He is the top representative of the modern trends in architecture. He designed The museum of Judaism in Berlin and The Tower of Freedom in New York which will be located in place of destroyed World Trade Centre.
His project for Orco will be a 45 floor building located in 44 Złota street, in a place of an office and commercial building of City Centre. We have chosen Daniel Libeskind because he was the only one who fully understood Jean-Francis Ott's vision. ( founder and chairman of Orco Property Group). The decision wasn't easy, though. We were looking at local and other international offers but we think this one was the best. Both, Daniel and Jean-Francis intended to create a perfect and unique project which will let Warsaw come into being on the world map of architecture - says Jean - Claude Moustacakis, a project manager of 44 Złota Street. The apartment tower will be a novelty for people of Warsaw. We are used to lower residential buildings because new, tall apartment buildings haven't been built in the city centre for a long time.
Residential investments in Europe are usually lower and in principle high apartment buildings are not build in city centers any more. It's more like a local tendency here - Maciej Miłobędzki from JEMS Architects Group comments.

Second Tower

But the Polish Capital rules in its own way. The project of a next high building will be ready soon. It will be located in Grzybowska Street. It is going to be the first investment of the Irish Development Group ( IGD) on the Polish market. In Poland this group is represented by The Irish Investments Fund which started to operate in Ireland in 2005 on Keyinvest and Castle Cerbery Properties Limited initiative. The investment in Grzybowska Street begins IGD activity on the Polish market. Therefore it is meant to be a product of the highest possible standard of quality. There are more and more wealthy people who run their businesses in the city centre and they are our potential clients. The apartment building is being designed by internationally renowned architectural group consisted of two firms: Epstain and Skidmore, Owings& Merrill ( SOM ). It will fulfill our expectations of the highest architectural level - Norbert Machaj assures, IGD Marketing Director. The SOM group is the author of an outstanding project of one the newest buildings in the city, Rondo 1. The next work of the group will be inevitably a significant and unique building which won't leave the people of Warsaw indifferent to it.

Is it a trend?

The apartment building in Grzybowska and the Libenskid building have a lot in common: the same use, famous designers, similar size and glass façade. The letter feature has been existing in our real estate building for some time.

28/09/2006 Gazeta Wyborcza
Wild West with a glass house for the rich

A high tower with apartments designed by the best architects of Skidmore Owings Merrill ( SOM) will be built in Warsaw district of Wola, in Grzybowska street.

It will be 84 m high and will have 250 apartments on 27 floors. The façade of the building will be a combination of glass, metal, stone and concrete. IGD ( Irish Development Group) will build the tower exactly between the Kolmex office building and the petrol station, just opposite of the Hilton hotel. We want to start the investment in march next year, says Agnieszka Nieman from IGD.
This is the second project done by such excellent, foregin architects in Warsaw. The first one is the Orco 194 m skyscraper by Daniel Libenskind, which will be located in Emilii Plater Street.
Our price will be very reasonable comparing to the standard and quality of the project, 12- 14 000 PLN for a square meter- Agnieszka Nieman tries to convince. The lower part of the building will be bigger and wider and will have a few floors. It will be a " podium". On its ground floor there will be a restaurant, SPA with a swimming pool and fitness club. The main tower will be a bit pushed back. It will be narrowed in two places. Thanks to those places the tower will look like two cubes put together on the third, the biggest one. That is the podium. Its side walls won't have any windows because the designers want other future side buildings to create the impression of being " glued" to the tower. We want to open a new card in the tradition of residential architecture. Transparency and lightness will distinguish this very modern building. We want it to become an unforgettable landmark of the area - says Czesław Komorowski, chief of architectural department in Epstain Poland which cooperates with SOM on this project. He compares the sketches of the façade of the building to Modrian's paintings with their characteristic mixed vertical and horizontal geometrical divisions. In the case of the tower those divisions are marked by straps of metal, stone and concrete. We haven't got apartment buildings of such high standards in Poland. This one will provide the best personal service comparable only to the one offered by the best hotels in the world. In a lobby you will be able to order the apartment cleaning, shopping or leaving your clothes for dry cleaning. This offer should tempt very busy, young and rich people without families - says Agnieszka Nieman. This is not going to be the first SOM project in Warsaw. They designed an outstanding Rondo 1 office building at ONZ Roundabout not very far from the city center.

2006 Życie Warszawy
Living like in a hotel

Excellent service in Wola

The Irish developer IGD wants to build a 84 meter high apartment building in Grzybowska street in Wola. The property will have 250 apartments and will provide 24 h professional service for its residents. The service will include an apartment cleaning, dry cleaning and shopping. The modern design of the building (light, glass elevation ) will resemble an office building. This idea comes from the renowned architectural group SOM, which also designed Rondo 1 office building in Warsaw and famous Sears Tower in Chicago.

Imagine a porter saying good morning to you at the main entrance, a special guest room to receive your visitors, shopping done and brought to you by a professional staff at any time of the day and night. These are not dreams. Such excellent atmosphere and service is possible to find in few, new apartment buildings which have already been built in Warsaw. The Holland Park estate at Plac Trzech KrzySy next to Diana Passage is one of them. Other estates in śoliborz, Mokotów and close to Ogród Saski already have their first residents.

The number of such high quality standard apartment buildings will soon be much bigger. Apart from a popular Orco Group project by Daniel Libenskid, which is supposed to be build in 44 Złota street, more developers think about such investments. Dolcan, the firm which has been building for people wit an average income so far, has decided to create an luxurious apartment building in Skierniewicka street in Wola. It will have 17 floors, on the highest ones there will be two level apartments with interior gardens. " My idea was to create the first building with hotel standards where residents will find everything they need in every day life without leaving the building" says Sławomir Doliński, the chairman of Dolcan Supervisory Board. " in spite of a three segment division, all stair cases will meet on the first level of residential area providing an access to the service area. Another hotel feature - a reception for residents and visitors will not only add more comfort but also more security to the property.
Życie Warszawy

30/11/2006 Echo miasta
Home at a hotel

In the morning the room service brings you the shopping you have ordered earlier and collects your clothes from a dry cleaner. You go down to a high class restaurant for breakfast and in the evening you have a relaxing swimming session in the swimming pool. Another great hotel? No, it's your apartment in a luxurious apartment building in Wola.

Authors of the highest , AAA class office building in Warsaw- Rondo 1 and the most expected New York project - the Tower of Freedom, have created an idea of the newest, modern building in a Warsaw district of Wola. This exclusive apartment tower was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merill ( SOM) and Epstain Poland architects. It is going to have 84 m of height, 27 floors and 250 apartments. Luxury is a keyword.
Residents will be able to order an apartment cleaning, shopping and dry cleaning at any time. All apartments will be equipped in air conditioning and balconies.In spite of air conditioning, windows in the building will be possible to open. Besides, like in a real hotel, there will be a swimming pool, a restaurant and a fitness club.

This idea of serviced apartments is meant for young people without families and busy businessmen. - Agnieszka Nejman from Irlandzka Grupa Deweloperska reveals. We followed the example of the best apartment buildings in London and the USA, so , for instance, all services, which are usually available at exclusive hotels ( room service), will be possible to be ordered at a spacious lobby.

Luxury is expensive and this one, no surprisingly, will be costly, too. So if you are interested in an apartment in this building you will have to pay from 12 to 14. 000 PLN for a square meter. The apartment tower will be located between Kolmex office building and the petrol station. The construction process will start in March 2007.

21/04/2007 Rzeczpospolita
Wola goes higher

Exclusive apartments- not built yet but already sold- offices, swimming pools and reastaurants- everything is supposed to be built in the center of a former working district in three years time.

Skyscrapers in Wola

Times when Wola was an industrial suburb of Warsaw passed irretrievably. There aren't any breweries, distilleries or brick factories any more there. Chimneys of heavy industry plants stopped dominating over the district. High office and apartments buildings have overtaken former industrial lands. They spring up like a mushroom on both big and narrow properties squeezed between existing buildings. Towarowa, Grzybowska and Prosta streets undergo the fastest transformation. Planners agree, that it's Towarowa Street which become the main north-south axis of the twenty first century Warsaw.

A tidbit for investors

in a not big area confined by Towarowa Street, Prosta Street, Grzybowska Street and śelazna Street developers are going to build eight 18- 38 floor apartment towers, six 13 floor and a few lower apartment buildings.

The first towers have already been completed: The Warsaw Trade Tower and the Hilton hotel in Grzybowska Street. The next are waiting.

This area is called Wola, but it's actually the city center, a kilometer away from Pałac Kultury i Nauki. If there is an opportunity to built in the heart of the capital city, it's impossible not to take it - says Jacek Putaj, a representative of a board of Pro Urba, a Spanish company.

The company intends to build two, big investments in an area of Towarowa Street. " A little district " - an estate of 1300 apartments, designed by JEMS Architekci- will be created in a place of a former Waryński factories office building, which was destroyed impressively a month ago. A bit farther, on the corner of Towarowa Street and Prosta Street, Pro Urbi will build a business and an apartment center closed in two towers. They will have 38 and 18 floors. A commercial and office area will be located on the bottom floors and a residential part just above them. Andrzej Chołodzyński's architectural practice has been working on those projects. They are nearly finished. Both investments are planned to start at the end of this year-Jacek Putaj announces.

Towers will be launched first.

Pro Urba business and apartment center are not the only skyscrapers that are going to appear in this area soon.
Two, large investments are planned by Ghemalco. They want to build an almost 100 m high tower on the corner of Prosta Street and Towarowa Street, and an office and apartment complex with a green square in a place of a former printing house - the corner of Grzybowska and Towarowa Street.

Two, 80 m high towers of Platinum Tower at Grzybowska Street 59/61 are going to be built first by Atlas Estates company. They will be a part of a complex which will include already opened Hilton Hotel, conference center, spa, casinos and galleries.

There will be 400 luxurious apartments in the towers with large, up to 230 square meters, penthouses on the two top floors. Those penthouses will have winter gardens and big terraces - praises Zofia Biskot from the firm press department. The elevation (facade) of The Platinum Tower will be made of glass with some stone elements on the bottom parts, which are supposed to emphasize the urban character of the building. The investments has already been started.

The next tower should grow in Grzybowska Street in December. It will be built by Irlandzka Grupa Developerska. It will consist of 250 apartments on 27 floors. They are priced at 14- 22 thousand PZL- says Agnieszka Nieman from IGD press department. There will also be a swimming pool, a fitness club and restaurants.

To block a giant

Marvipol has already started the construction works of its tower in the same region. A glass and narrow building in Prosta street will block partly a white and plain wall of J.W.Construction house. It is designed by prof. Stefan Kuryłowicz. He explains that the geometry of Prosta Tower sets in bodies of neighboring buildings but its surfaces are soft ant wavy. The glass curtain put on the street side of the tower is suppose to soundproof the inside and let the light in.

The lower levels of the tower are assigned for offices, higher - for 40 exclusive apartments and a fitness club. The price is set from 15 to 20 thousand PZL.

The biggest, 230 sq meter apartments have been already sold - says Agnieszka Stępień, Marvipol marketing director.

Subsequent six high buildings will be located in a square of Towarowa, Pańska Miedziana and Srebrna Streets. This investment belongs to a Spanish company Torca, which has bought this area, today occupied by a furniture center Jupiter. It will be destroyed but no sooner than at the beginning of 2009- says Henryk Folek , a chairman of Torca.

Glass geometry

Apartment buildings, but not towers , will be build by another Spanish company- Acciona. On a narrow plot between Prosta and Pańska Street the company intends to locate two buildings adjusted to the architecture of surrounding houses. The building on the side of Pańska Street will have six floors and the second one on the side of Prosta Street - nine. There are going to be 168 flats in the building. Apartments will be arranged on the top floors. The first floor is meant for offices. The main idea of the project is, according to its author- Studio Lamela, a geometry and lots of glass surfaces, e.g. loggias with a sliding, glass door and glass façade in Prosta Street. The investor is waiting for building conditions.

But a real revolution has been prepared in a place of a former Warsaw Brewery in the area of Grzybowska, Wronia i Chłodna Streets. And again, it's a Spanish company GP Investment which is planning to build a huge estate with 1500 apartments here. They also want to create a shopping center, a hotel and an enormously big underground car park. The whole idea has been worked out for Spanish by JEMS Practice and MWH Architekci.

How to control the chaos?

The authorities of Wola are pleased with development of the district, but they are quite anxious as well.
We are not able to control all those investments at all- says Marek Andruk, mayor of a district. And it's not because we don't want to, but because the decisions are made at the City Hall, not at the district level. We are only informed about all the building decisions that have been taken there.

He admits that a direct control of district authorities over the investments would be first of all favorable to residents.
Together with the developers, we could join forces in financing a development of car parks, pavements, streets, drainage and greenery.- he says.
He adds that such lack of information will cause lots of social problems in the future.
The best example is our neighbor, district of Bemowo. During the last years a few thousand of apartments have been built there and the effect of this fast and huge development is a list of 800 children from Bemowo who are waiting for a place in one of our kinder gardens. We will soon have the same problem with schools. But the most serious problem, that I'm really afraid of, is increasing traffic. Which street in Wola will provide a good access for those towers? Is it going to be the very narrow Łucka Street or Grzybowska which is getting more and more jammed?

Jan Boerner, the chairman of The Society of Wola Friends is also aware of fatal effects of the fact that the crucial decisions for the district are taken at the City Hall. He says: Tall buildings which according to plans were supposed to concentrate around Towarowa Street and create a frontage of the street, have been moving away. The best example is an ugly, dominant over the area ,building of J.W. Construction.