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The Warsaw Voice » Real Estate » September 24, 2008
The Real Estate Voice
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Reaching for the Sky
September 24, 2008   
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Skyscrapers are rapidly transforming Polish cityscapes as developers with lofty ambitions put up a growing number of high-rises. In Warsaw alone, some 20 such new buildings will be constructed within the next several years.

Some of the skyscrapers have been designed by world-famous architects such as Daniel Libeskind, an American architect of Polish origin, and Zaha Hadid, a British architect of Iraqi descent. Libeskind has designed Złota 44, an original high-rise building in Warsaw. Poznań-based developer Wechta SA is developing the Korona Poznań project together with Libeskind. Hadid, a winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, is the architect behind the Kulczyk Tower and Lilium Tower projects in Warsaw.

Poland's tallest skyscraper, Kulczyk Tower, will be built in Warsaw by Kulczyk Investment House by 2011. The building will be 282 meters tall and have 66 stories. It will stand in the heart of the city, on Chmielna Street, and feature a modern design and state-of-the-art technology. Jan Kulczyk, a Poznań business tycoon who is one of the wealthiest people in Poland, plans to invest zl.1 billion in the project.

Lilium Tower, designed by Hadid and her associate Patrik Schumacher, will be a 250-meter skyscraper on the corner of Jerozolimskie Avenue and Chałubińskiego Street in Warsaw. It will feature an original design and modern technology. Hadid says the tower will be a symbol of Poland's economic development and a symbol of modern Warsaw.

Libeskind's design, Złota 44 on Złota Street in the heart of Warsaw, will be a 54-story apartment and office tower 192 meters tall. It will resemble a sail fluttering in the wind, the architect says. The developer, Orco Property Group, hopes to complete the building by the summer of 2010.

Other Polish cities are also reaching for the sky. The Sky Tower in Wrocław, a project by Holding LC Corp, will be 200 meters tall, with 50 stories. The design comes from Warsaw-based B&G studio. Wrocław businessman Leszek Czarnecki, one of the three wealthiest people in Poland, will spend more than $400 million on the project. The Sky Tower will be constructed on a site currently dominated by Poltegor, another tall building owned by Czarnecki-until recently the tallest edifice in Wrocław. The Sky Tower is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2010.

Another Wrocław developer, Wings Development, is working on Angel Wings, a complex of luxury apartment buildings, offices and stores in the Przedmie¶cie Oławskie district, designed by Paris-based studio Gottesman-Szmelcman Architecture Sarl. The project's focal point will be two "wings"-modern high-rise buildings, the tallest of which will have 160 m and 43 stories. The project will form part of Wrocław's large-scale redevelopment plans for the city's southeastern districts. Completion is scheduled for 2011.

In the Gdańsk-Sopot-Gdynia tricity area, Hossa SA, a major local developer, is working on the BigBoyBuilding project-the conurbation's tallest building that will be 202 m tall including the spire. It will be located on D±browszczaków Street, close to the city center and the beach. Many of the apartments will offer a view on the sea, which is bound to attract buyers. The building was designed by Warsaw-based studio MWH-Architekci under the supervision of Andrzej Wyszyński, in association with Tomasz Ignaciuk's Pracownia Archegram studio. The building is scheduled to be completed in 2011.

In Gdynia, Invest Komfort SA is building Sea Towers, a project designed by Andrzej Kapu¶cik's studio from Vienna. This complex will include two towers, one 90 meters tall with 28 stories and the other 116 meters tall with 36 stories. The building will be located in central Gdynia near the seashore. The project is scheduled for completion in February next year.

The city of Poznań in western Poland has attracted Spanish investors Manuel Gomez Landeria and Manuel Anon. Their project, Poznań Forum, was designed by Spanish architect Jesus Marco Llombert from Ama Studio in Saragossa. The building will be constructed on Hetmańska Street, close to the Żegrze traffic circle, just a 10-minute drive from the city center. The Poznań Tower will be 240 meters tall-or 285 meters including the spire-and will have 55 stories. It is scheduled for completion in June 2012.

Another skyscraper in Poznań, Korona Tower, is being developed by Wechta SA. This 105-meter-tall building will stand in the city center, in an area bounded by Niepodległo¶ci Avenue and Ko¶ciuszki and Powstańców Wielkopolskich streets.

Most of the skyscrapers under construction in Poland will hold top-standard luxury apartments costing up to zl.20,000 per square meter. For that price, the residents will be provided with a wide range of services, including air-conditioning, security and sports and recreation facilities.

Some of the skyscrapers will also include hotels, offices and conference facilities. The Kulczyk Tower, for example, will hold not only luxury apartments, but also a high-standard hotel. The Poznań Forum will hold apartments, a hotel, offices and conference facilities.

Anna Korólczyk
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