Modern urban oasis / Warsaw City Lounge ! The Rotunda becomes part of a public square. It undergoes dematerialization as a barrier to urban space and, by enhancing its function to include that of a pro-ecological urban oasis available in all weather conditions, it turns into a fully-fledged public centre.!
The introduction of freely-accessible technological amenities within the protected green space of the building enables people, in addition to meeting their civilizational needs – recharging batteries for their devices or accessing the Internet – to recharge their own ‘natural batteries’ and improve their general feeling of wellbeing.!
Through contact with nature, in a space that is perfect in terms of climate, THE ROTUNDA CHANGES ITS FACE, becoming a MODERN URBAN OASIS.!
The public square is utilized in a multifaceted way – meeting the key needs of the people that are present there at any given time, depending on the purpose and duration of their visit to the Warsaw City Lounge. All zones are designed so as to form a coherent and efficiently-utilized space while remaining in mutually non-invasive relations.!
The transformation of the Rotunda’s appearance consists primarily in the mode of its perception. A facility heretofore viewed mostly from the outside, or from the ground floor level, is now becoming an interactive transfer hub for people and information – so that it will become possible to perceive the surroundings of the building and its internal geometry from the mezzanine space which has not been freely accessible before.!
The spatial integration and balanced planning of the functions, both public and those involved in the operation of a bank, aims to enhance the utilitarian quality of the place, to order its space and turn it into a modern urban lounge with the Rotunda as its icon and central functional hub.!
The pedestrian traffic, until now for the most part organized underground, could – through the proposed changes to the traffic organization at the crossroads – be streamed predominantly on the ground level. The proposed system of cycle tracks and bicycle parking facilities, including battery charging devices among other features, could create an impulse for changing the whole way of thinking about personal transport in the city.!
An extremely important role in the design is played by ecology and sustainable energy management systems (SEMs). E.g. the surface of the square is lit by lamps attached to tension cables, powered by the sun. With this solution, we are also enhancing the quality of the overhead space by reducing, to the maximum degree possible, the pollution of the sky with artificial light after dark.!
Water plays a very important role in the design as well. Its social function is to produce a refreshing ambience through a system of fountains integrated into the surface pavement, designed to direct the eye towards the plaque commemorating the gas explosion which destroyed the Rotunda several decades ago. The accentuation of the axial quality of the overall plan and its aesthetic properties are coupled with adequate greywater management.! The use of a double façade in the building has a measurable impact on the atmosphere of the workplace and rest areas.!
Given the high quality of the design ideas which directed the work of the original designers of the facility, the structure, its characteristic hubs as well as the compositional idea of the building’s interior have been highlighted as much as possible while the use of the building is changed.!
DuPont materials are employed to underscore the principal architectural idea. All the new elements are based on glass as both a structural and a finish material. Walls glazed with strengthened glass of high transparency, the building’s inner skin, the uppermost footbridge and its structure, and many other interior finish elements are based on DuPont transparent materials.!
The non-transparent elements, such as bank counters or urban lounge furnishings – benches, lean-on stands and bike stands – are made of Corian.