Located in close vicinity to Bonarka City Center, a popular shopping and entertainment hub in Krakow, Poland, ‘Building F’ of the Bonarka for Business (B4B) development is a modern office building that offers an optimal working environment with high class finishes and design befitting a leading edge business park concept for the 21st century.
One of ten innovative buildings that make up the award winning B4B office park development, the eight-storey Building F is designed as an open plan concept characterized by an abundance of natural light. Concentrated in the center of the floor plan is a vertical circulation core that consists of a lifts, cased exit stairs, service shafts, restrooms, utility rooms and staff lounges. This centralization leaves free the surrounding floor area, which can subsequently be subdivided into offices for one, two, three or four tenants – with smaller divisions also possible.
In addition to affording maximum spatial flexibility, a particular benefit of an open plan concept such as this is the freedom provided in terms of façade design. Here, the north and south façades are clad with a mullion and transom glazed façade system that floods the building interior with natural light. On each glazed façade, the broad expanse of glass is articulated into three individual parts, each emphasized by a perimeter frame cased with a dark colored composite board.
For the eastern and western façades, the architects were looking for a durable and low maintenance material suitable for a large area that could offset the coolness of glass with the appearance of natural wood. Project architect Malgorzata Dworzak-Bobula explains that ROCKPANEL products feature a high quality appearance along with resistance to environmental elements, thus making these products ideal. The architect adds, ‘We needed to attach the façade cladding mechanically and for use in a tall building (30m) it couldn't be too heavy. This product was perfect. The supplier provided us full and efficient information regarding these products and their specification. We also had access to a wide range of samples, which we could combine with many other materials.’
Ultimately, the Rhinestone Oak design from the ROCKPANEL Woods cladding range was selected. In addition to achieving the desired aesthetic appearance, this product was a particularly suitable choice in terms of meeting Polish fire regulations, which require fire safe building materials compliant with class A2 in building areas located more than 25 meters above ground level. The ROCKPANEL range offers Woods boards in Durable grade, which in this instance were installed as part of the ventilated façade system up to a height of 25 meters, with a total surface area of 787,5 m². For the cladding in area more than 25 meters above ground level, ROCKPANEL Woods in FS-Xtra grade was installed, totaling 125 m² in surface area in this project.
In addition to achieving a high quality and high performance façade, the architect adds that by selecting ROCKPANEL boards, they were able to achieve an environmentally friendly façade solution as part of meeting the requirements for achieving a ‘very good’ BREEAM certificate standard. On the bases of a Life Cycle Assesment, ROCKPANEL boards are acknowledged by BRE Global as amongst the best performing in their category with A+ and A ratings.
Since B4B broke ground in 2011 as a development, it has won a number of competitions including the 'Kraków – My Home 2014’ and the ‘artURBANICA 2012 Quality Award’ in the architecture of urban space category. B4B has additionally won the ‘Prime Property Prize Malopolska 2013’ in the office building category for meeting the needs of the most demanding clients.
In short, the architecture of the B4B project not only sets a leading example technically and functionally in terms of office design for the 21st century, but also raises the bar with respect to its aesthetic design and quality in material product specification. For a nation eager to emerge as a leading place to do business, office design at B4B is certainly helping to put Kraków on the map.