Plans have been launched to build a luxury mixed use development called OVO, incorporating a luxury hotel. The scheme, located in the Polish city of Wroclaw, incorporates an upscaled Hilton Hotel, extensive conference facilities, serviced apartments and retail and leisure areas. The iconic, contemporary building will help regenerate the whole area, stimulating interest in the heart of the city.
International multi-disciplinary engineering practice Buro Happold is providing structural and building services engineering for the exciting free-form curved structure, which has been designed by Gottesman-Szmelcman Architecture, with Broadway Malyan Polska serving as local project architects. The bold and evocative shape, without a single straight line in sight, was commissioned by Wings Properties last year, and commended at last year’s MIPIM property trade show, where it received a Retail and Leisure award.
“Wroclaw is emerging as a cultural lighthouse and an inspiration for architects, designers and urban planners in Poland and beyond,” said Asaf Gottesman, director and founding partner of Gottesman-Szmelcman Architecture. “Located in the very heart of the city, OVO will be the clearest manifestation of the new pulse and rhythm of this remarkable place.”
“This new hotel cements our intention and commitment to grow our presence in Poland, as we look to add 20 Hilton Family hotels over the next five years” said Uli Widmer, Hilton Hotel’s Vice President for Development in Central and Eastern Europe. “We are delighted to be involved in such an exciting mixed use development and are confident that the Hilton Wroclaw will become one of the city’s leading properties when it opens in 2011.”
Located on Podwale Street, close to the historic city centre, the 50,000m2 building will rise to six storeys, and will boast three levels of apartments for sale for individual buyers, three levels of guest rooms for the Hilton hotel, parking for 250 cars, leisure and spa facilities with an internal swimming pool, a conference centre, several restaurants and a multi-media exhibition space – transforming an unkempt parking lot into a landmark the city can be proud of.
The 255 room Hilton Wroclaw will offer guests a number of amenities and services including an all day restaurant, a lobby bar and bistro, ten fully equipped Hilton meeting rooms, a 500 m² ballroom and a 850 m² wellness centre and spa featuring swimming pool and gym facilities.
The curved façade will be made from a glazed material, creating a translucent effect. Extremely elegant, with its clean lines and simplicity, its lightness also keeps construction costs down.
“The complex poses an interesting challenge for the structural design team, with its distinctive shape and top end requirements,” said Przemek Sobieski, associate structural engineer from Buro Happold’s Warsaw office and project leader on the Hilton Wroclaw. “The curved façade will essentially take the form of a curtain wall, with the slabs finished with edge beams and adjusted to the required shape in the plan. The rest of the curvature will be achieved through a steel system to support the glazing, using variable distances in the fixings to the concrete structure. Meanwhile, it is located right next to a historic post office building, which we need to work around – it is vital to leave the post office untouched by the works.”
Buro Happold’s rapidly growing M+E team in Warsaw is also working on building services design for OVO. The team was set up some eighteen months ago, and already has fifteen engineers, with a balance of youth and experience to rise to the task with both enthusiasm and professionalism.
“Our key goal with the building services design is to reduce carbon emissions and be as energy-efficient as possible,” said Sobieski. “Key sustainability measures include on-demand management of energy use, localised metering for water, heating and power, natural ventilation where possible, a heat recovery system and low energy lighting.”
Additionally, the complex will enjoy the highest spec services one would expect in a five star development, including automatic climate and shading control, A/V systems, wireless internet access and home management systems, all integrated though a single device, as well as the most sophisticated security controls. Buro Happold is also working on health and safety aspects, such as back-up generator and emergency lighting, and fire detection, alarm and sprinkler systems – including a xenon beacon for the hearing impaired.
Construction is scheduled to start in March 2009 and the OVO aims to open to the public in 2011.
Broadway Malyan Polska
Structural and building services engineering
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Buro Happold is a multi-disciplinary international practice of consulting engineers established in 1976. We now employ over 1,700 staff in 21 offices worldwide, and our aim is to produce high quality engineering design in concept, in detail and in execution, on time, to programme and delivering excellent value for money. Our distinctive culture and ethos is still based on the same principles of care, value and elegance that were established when the practice was founded.
We offer structural, building services, civil, infrastructure and façade engineering, as well as a broad range of specialist consultancy services including sustainability, ground and environmental engineering, fire and security design, health and safety management, inclusive and urban design, project management, and specialist CAD and computer simulation provision.