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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.