Concordia Design on Wrocław’s Słodowa Island opens its doors
Concordia Design Wrocław is now open. The building, which is located on Słodowa (Malt) Island, one of the city's most distinctive spots, was designed by a renowned Dutch architects’ practice, MVRDV, in collaboration with Wrocław-based QStudio. The aluminium door and window systems for the development were provided by Polish manufacturer ALUPROF S.A., a leader in the European sector.
Where history and modernity meet
Concordia Design Wrocław was built on the site of a four-storey apartment house dating from 1845, the only building on the island not completely reduced to rubble by the air raids of the Second World War. The ruins have been partially restored and extended, uniting the old and the new in the recently completed development. MVRDV and QStudio were inspired by the head of Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, transitions, duality and ends, who is usually depicted with two faces, one looking to the past and the other, to the future. It proved possible to save the historical elevation of the apartment house and the outbuilding, which had retained some windows, and to create a flowing transition to the new, minimalist section of the building. Both the renovation of the old section and the design of the new where carried out in close collaboration with the city’s conservation officer and its urban architect. The demolition work and digging of the foundations were accompanied by an archaeological excavation.
The developer’s main concept was to maintain the open nature of the island as it was and to build the Concordia Design community in symbiosis with the surroundings. The third floor houses office and co-working space designed for start-ups, IT and companies connected with the creative sector. There is room for around four hundred work stations. Part of the office hub will also be made available in the form of art studios with special rental conditions attached to them. The idea is to integrate and stimulate the local community and the city’s artistic community.
Entertainment and gastronomy are also an important aspect of the building’s use. The lower storeys of the modern section is home to pubs and a catering zone. The sweeps of glazing create a sense that the boundaries between the interior and the surroundings have dissolved. The fifth floor is the highest. It features an open terrace surrounded by an aluminium and glass balustrade, with views over the historical centre of the city spreading out below it. It is also home to Poland’s largest green wall. Measuring three hundred and sixty square metres, it contains ten thousand plants.
The building features aluminium joinery systems, some of them custom-designed. They were all provided by Polish manufacturer ALUPROF S.A., which is based in the southern city of Bielsko-Biała.
The company’s Facilities Coordinator, Jarosław Kowalski, has a special relationship with Słodowa Island:
I’ve always loved coming to the Island. First as a student and then for a stroll with my wife and child. It’s my favourite part of the city and Wrocław is my home town.
I’m aware of how extravagant the whole city’s expectations of the building were and of how important it was for it to be open to Wrocław’sresidents. The use of aluminium joinery in the new and old sections alike means that the design of the Concordia design won’t age. The window modules, which are based on aluminium profiles and increase in size to end in panoramic glazing on the new side, are the element that unites the entire design.
The glazed walls of the building were created using the ALUPROF MB-SR50N EFEKT semi-structural façade system, making it possible to obtain the impression of a uniform sheet of glass divided by a grid of slender, twenty millimetre lines. A custom-designed variant of the system, the MB-SR50N EI EFEKT, was used to delineate the fire compartments. This solution provides a lightweight, fire-resistant, suspended or infilled curtain wall. It is available in fire-resistance classes EI 30 to EI 60 and can be used to build flat and staggered walls. Another of the system’s major advantages is that the exterior appearance of the fire-resistant façade is identical to the MB-SR50N EFEKT, meaning that there is no visual divergence from the company's standard mullion and transom curtain wall.
The widows and doors for Concordia Design Wrocław were designed on the basis of the ALUPROF MB-86 SI system. Glazing was installed throughout the building’s façade and it proved possible to use it in both the modern and restored sections of the building, creating classic windows with glazing bars. Other strengths of the MB-86 include the excellent thermal insulation and high durability of the profiles, meaning that they lend themselves to creating large-scale, heavyweight structures while maintaining superb airtightness parameters.
ALUPROF S.A. The leader of its sector
ALUPROF is part of the Kęty S.A. Capital Group, one of Poland’s most modern, innovative and rapidly developing businesses in the aluminium sector. ALUPROF’s intensive international activity has also made it one of the leaders of the sector in Europe, where it supplies high-quality solutions. As well as its five facilities located in Poland, in Bielsko-Biała, Opole, Goleszów, Ogrodzona and Złotów, the company has nine branches in Europe and the USA and is entering more markets around the globe. ALUPROF designs and manufactures aluminium systems for window and doors, garage doors, industrial doors, commercial gates and roller shutters. The company also offers state-of-the-art façade and fire-resistant systems, burglar-resistant structures and energy-saving solutions for use in passive buildings.