The new gastronomic zone in the Pasaż Grunwaldzki shopping center in Wrocław, designed by MIXD, is referred to as "thoroughly Wrocław". The inspiration for her project was Wrocław, its history and iconic places as well as 90s nostalgia. Today, a few months after the opening of Foodstacja, it is already known that Wrocław residents liked it and in accordance with the investor's and designers' vision they treat it as a place of meetings, work, study, spending free time, and not only eating meals.
The Pasaż Grunwaldzki shopping centre, which belongs to EPP, is located in the center of Wrocław, at the crossroads of routes that the inhabitants of this city cross every day: teenagers, students, families with children, retirees. It is not surprising that in the 90s there was something here that could be called the first shopping center - the Goliath bazaar in the circus tent, where the first private buyers offered their makeshift stalls.
Nostalgia for those pioneering times of Polish capitalism - and for childhood in the 1990s - can be seen in many places in Foodstacja. Here you will find classic k67 kiosks from Yugoslavia - still commonly found on Polish streets and markets. Here, however, you do not sell newspapers or casseroles, but rather are a shelter for those tired of shopping, wanting to read or talk on the phone. Yellow Nyska car is also no longer a van, but a place to sit or even lounging on large cushion seats. Younger residents of Wrocław are eager to play the cult slot machine games or go crazy in the special Kids Play zone. Elders can drink coffee in the Jubilatka - named after a famous Wrocław cafe - or relax on sunbeds in Odra Bar decorated with kayaks and reed umbrellas. Is this really foodcourt?
Piotr Kalinowski from MIXD emphasizes that the key in the nearly 1,000-seat Foodstacja were: the division of space into various microzones and their adaptation to the needs of various groups visiting Pasaż Grunwaldzki. "We have zones that are addressed to a specific group of recipients, such as the Library in which students of nearby universities willingly hang out, and those that are universal, such as Hit 91 - an auditorium from which you can admire Grunwald Square. We also have many details that make you smile and encourage you to have fun ... or take a picture of yourself. These include wheel of fortune game, mirror ceiling or wall from 27 old box TVs. " In addition to Wrocław vintage accents, there are also completely current ones, such as neon lights, graffiti and elements of graphic identification designed and made by local artists from the Kolektyf group. It is similar with furniture - we have here a historical cross-section - from furniture from the times of the deep PRL to quite modern. The colors and graphic elements are inspired by the aesthetics of the 90s - youth magazines, album and cassette covers, food labels, signs, and TV adverts.
The investor, or EPP, has shown openness to bold ideas, encouraging to propose unconventional solutions. The brief presented to the designers was precise but at the same time giving a lot of creative freedom. During the modernization work, the MIXD team benefited from the support of EPP architects, and many of the solutions they proposed were then used in the design. The commitment and close cooperation of both sides brought a great effect. Foodstacja, with its new design and mix of tenants, has become a real showcase of Pasaż Grunwaldzki and a distinguishing feature for this facility.
- Foodstacja, the first multi-functional food and entertainment space in the food hall in Wrocław, introduces a new quality on the local retail market, which can be seen from the enthusiastic reactions of our guests. The zone is teeming with life, and the space and design elements available there have been quickly "adapted" to suit individual tastes and needs. Our goal was to create a place with distinctive architecture inspired by the city and international cuisine, available to everyone - students, employees of nearby companies, as well as families with children. An important role in Foodstacja is played by additional elements and actions conducive to bonding and interaction - for example, the library launched there. As the results show, the decision to implement such an ambitious project was accurate - we recorded an increase in turnover of Foodstacja tenants by about 15% in June-December 2019 compared to the same period a year earlier - says Paulina Stach, director of Pasaż Grunwaldzki.
"This is hard proof that design can be an effective tool for business operations. It is important, however, that the designer understand the investor's strategy well and the investor's confidence in the ideas that can be innovative and go beyond the status quo known from the market. " - comments Piotr Kalinowski.