INSOMIA Architecture Studio as Architects

The main reason for the extraordinary shape of the building was a narrow and triangular plot. Such a dynamic shape ought to be, in our opinion emphasized by a matching dynamic form. The plot is a wedge between two busy streets: Piątkowska st. & Aleje Solidarności st. and a tramway line. Paradoxically, vast number of limitations and prescriptions made the design process much easier. The parallels about the building looking like a vessel are funny on one hand, but quite accurate on the other. The form had to be “sharpen” giving the outcome of marine analogies. JET OFFICE is a shape and form, not a decoration.

We assumed that the ideal office building's plan is that of a square or a rectangular shape. In the design process of JET OFFICE we had to abandon that scheme. Blueprint of a building is about zoning, features and mutual relations. We've programmed the building interior so that it is possible to adapt and reshape, keeping pace with the needs. As a result we came up with a minimal communication area, shared toilets and an office space easy to partition and alter. It is worth mentioning, that scarcely the open space offices are rectangular. Our goal was to design a product that with all its features would give a competitive edge on the market- all in all architecture is a business as well.

The weight bearing structure was made of reinforced concrete pillars and plate. From the beginning, the structural rigidness was hard to achieve- the form made the structure act like a sail. We did all we could so it did not fly away.

High standard of interiors is composed of best quality materials: painted MDF, tinted glass, perforated metal sheets and sanded wood. The overall appearance is modest in form, toned. Evacuation staircases, for instance, are made of concrete which was left unfinished. We envision raw concrete as very suitable material to use in interior design. It is not a cheap solution, as one might think. Raw concrete always presents a huge problem for the contractors on construction site. Concrete is not an easy material to be left bare, builders will always seek some sort of render to cover its' uniqueness and beauty.

Blatancy wears down fast. It should be remembered, especially in our country, with the cornucopia of different, unsuited elements in urban contexts of Polish cities. This calls for some sort of toned, stable and timeless accents in cityscape. The main entrance to the building is located from Winirska st., less busy than surrounding routs. We could not resist to soften the stiffness and pompous character of white collar working environment. Through introduction of fragments of hilarious script of Stanislaw Bareja's movie- “Co mi zrobisz jak mnie złapiesz?” (“What will you do if you catch me?”) to one of the elevators' cabin. The placement of quotations makes it irresistible not to interact with it, and read “I shave myself, eat breakfast and go to sleep”.

Poznan is located halfway between Warsaw and Berlin in one of Poland’s most densely settled metropolitan areas. The city has a long history as a trade center and thanks to excellent transport connections, has reaped the greatest benefits from the country’s European integration. Over the past several years, numerous national and international firms have settled in Poznan; therefore, there is great demand for office space and high pressure on developers to make a mark architecturally and thereby distinguish themselves from competitors. Triangular plot A particularly sensational example of this is the Jet Office building, which the local architectural office Insomia built at the intersection of two main transport axes in the north of the city. Access to the building occurs via a secondary road on the west side, which separates the triangular plot from the tramway tracks and a green space behind.

The spatial program comprises an underground parking garage, a shop level oriented toward the east facing busy Piatkowska street, and 1,900 square meters of office space distributed across three complete floors and a fully glazed, recessed loft level. The plot’s unique shape demanded a special approach to design in order to optimally utilize floor areas. Normally, office buildings have a central access core and a regular support grid offset from the exterior walls to assure maximum flexibility in the distribution of spaces and façades. However, apart from one single internal row of supports, the reinforced concrete structure of the Jet Office is arranged peripherally. The same applies to the reinforced core executed in exposed concrete, which alongside the elevator and stairway, contains the communal toilet facilities, and makes different zoning in the office areas possible by means of separate entrances.

Making a virtue of necessity Whereas the layout made spatial planning more difficult, the architects made the best possible use of it in the outer form. They even exaggerated the “pointed” staging of the three-cornered plot. With the exception of the development core on the backside and the adjacent wall area, the entire building volume is cloaked in a façade shell of black fiber cement panels and given rhythm by vertical blinds. The recess of the main façade takes on the alignment of the building bordering to the south; towards the north, the building effectively culminates in a cantilevered corner situation reminiscent of a ship’s bow. The nautical connotations are entirely intentional— here as well as there, the architects argue for the dynamic form primarily with functional rather than formal considerations. 

NIO House Tianjin
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NIO House Tianjin

Tianjin, China - Build completed in 2019
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