As a result of the resolution of Changing The Face 2013 Rotunda Warsaw competition – based on the unanimous decision – we undertook the task of preparing a full-discipline, multi-stage design documentation. After five years of work the building that is PKO BankPolski’s most modern branch has been commissioned today.
Geometry is one of the basic elements that shape the nature of Rotunda’s architectural composition. The building’s central assumption with the eccentrically placed pole (pillar), the symmetrical entrances based on the 120-degree module, facade division based on the 7.5o module and the general’s wavy line that constitutes the finial of the building, as well as the roof’s spherical palate are the characteristic features that were key for preservation when erecting the building.
An in-depth analysis of such geometries, and of their mutual dependencies and relationships, was aimed at restoring and exposing to the maximum the Building’s positive spatial relationships. The introduction of the geometrically coherent structure that meets contemporary safety standards and the use of high quality finishing materials, as well as ensuring the maximum possible transparency and luminosity of the interior, lead to the perception of Rotundaas a modern and environmentally friendly building, while preserving its – deeply rooted in social awareness – shape and nature.
The up-to-now basic function of the building – the bank’s branch, was complemented with a public function implemented on level +1. Due tosuch function change it was necessary to use the underground space for banking purposes. The condition of the historic structure of the foundation walls did not allow for meeting appropriate technical and aesthetic standards.
Therefore, the decision was taken to completely replacethe historic, degraded substance with the new one, taking into account an expansion of the underground space, introduction of the additional lighting and new technical premises, aimed at replacing the existing, above-ground technical devices and technical infrastructure elements.
Also, an additional public function was introduced in the direct vicinity of the building in the form of a green city foyer from the Wiech pedestrian walkway side. The recessed area is aimed at expanding the square function in the center of Warsaw, ensuring appropriate circulation of air in the Rotunda building and providing daylight in the work space located on level -1. A change of the square layout was related to the removal of the existing greenery on the plot and its replacement with new plantings. A plaque commemorating the 1979 events has been moved to an intimate green area that enables appropriate contemplation of the tragedy.
1. DuPont Corian
2. Press Glass
3. Hunter Douglas