Warsaw, Poland

Designed by the famous Polish architectural office, Kurylowicz and Associates, and commissioned by leading Polish investor Echo, this 155 metre tall high rise offers 50,000m2 of leasable office space. The building is located in the business centre of Warsaw, on the site of the demolished Mercure Hotel. Buro Happold was appointed to provide building services engineering as well as BREEAM assessment and consulting for this ambitious project.


With a brief demanding a building that is an exemplar of sustainable design, our client’s goal was to achieve BREEAM Excellent certification rating, whilst also maximising floor space.

Image: Buro Happold


In order to achieve this objective, we used our extensive experience in sustainable design to deliver the best solutions, incorporating a number of innovative techniques. We introduced a tri-glass facade, which will give better thermal and acoustic isolation, minimising the building’s heat loss during the winter and solar gains during the summer. Thermal and lighting zoning further reduce power consumption. To capture solar energy, our experts have also incorporated a photovoltaic system into the design of the sloping glass roof. This generates renewable energy which can be used to power the charging points for electric vehicles.

Sustainable objectives also informed the building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning design. Using air-water heat pumps, energy is recovered from the server and technical rooms and redistributed around the building, providing significant energy savings. We also increased ventilation rates and optimised air quality by incorporating low Volatile Organic Compound content materials into the design.

Q22 office tower warsaw
Image: Buro Happold

Designed to resemble a quartz crystal, the building has a unique asymmetric shape. We were tasked with demonstrating the viability of the design to the client and the respective authorities. The irregular shape coupled with the fact that the structural core had to be shifted away from the centre, demanded rigorous design and wind tunnel simulation. The results of these tests were additionally subject to internal review by engineers at Buro Happold’s Dubai office. By applying our specialist knowledge and skills in this field, our experts were able prove to the relevant individuals and authorities that the proposed structure was in fact a viable approach.

In line with the client’s brief to maximise floor space, our structural engineers designed the main structural system using composite columns, which are narrower than conventional columns. This solution enabled us to increase the floor area by 7m2 per floor. Leasable area was further increased through the introduction of thinner post tensioned slabs.

Image: Buro Happold


By ensuring that every stage of the design was planned to the highest possible standard, incorporating expert knowledge in both structural and sustainable design, Buro Happold ensured that Q22 defines the standard for office spaces and achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating with one of the highest scores attained in Poland (79.1%).

Image: Buro Happold

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