Let us roam the streets of central Wrocław. This may begin at the market which is impressive, in particular the late-Gothic town hall. We can then take Santa Claus (St. Mikolaj) Street, pass by St. Elizabeth's Church and reach Slaughter (Rzeznicza) Street, where you may wish to stay for longer. This is one of the most beautiful and prestigious streets in the City, which is shown through its architecture and proximity to the market. Since the 20th century, the location of this street has been particularly popular for Banks, broker houses and commercial properties.
In order to create a modern office space in an area such as Rzeźnicza Street, a lot of knowledge and sense is required. There is a requirement to appropriate architectural sensitivity to developments which may prove difficult for a potential investor. Please note, however, that the implementation of such development will assist in creating an unusual, beautiful and prestigious investment which will encourage potential tenants by offering such benefits as location or functionality. The Rzeźnicza Development was aware of that when undertaking the redevelopment of the building at 28-31 Rzeznicza Street.
A Taste of History
The aim was to give this building character and distinction to stand out amongst other buildings. I think that, thanks to the exposed brick and stairwell, there will not be a second office building like it in Wrocław. Attention to detail was drawn to numerous aspects during the renovation which recovered the former brilliance. The lighting, which is almost invisible to the eye, enhances what is most beautiful about this building. In the evening, when both the interior and courtyard are lit, the bricks, arches and columns attract our attention. This building is not in the scope of modern developments but has focused on enhancing the original appearance. The biggest challenge was to adapt the new requirements to the old structure, and pride has come from the end result and satisfaction of tenants, says Agnieszka Kowalczyk, Project Manager of AIM ENG, which directed the renovation process .
Heritage Gates is a modern office building which is based on the original building built in 1901. The original project was born in the head of well-known Architect Karl Grossera and it is an important landmark on the map of Wrocław, representing the neo-Renaissance style. The current building is entered in the Register of Monuments, Architecture and Construction. Unfortunately, with time, the building began to deteriorate and the investor decided to begin the process of refurbishment.
The roof structure was the part of the building in the worst condition and it required strengthening or replacement. Ceilings and some walls also needed reinforcement. The steel stairway in the annexe also required replacement. Additional problems were that the facades and interiors were heavily damaged by pigeons which inhabited the building and destruction was significant enough that one of the floor-to-ceiling support columns had to be replaced, says Agnieszka Kowalczyk.
The Road to Perfection
The design for the adaptation and modernization of the building space adopted a unique architectural style whilst adapting to the new features. Our goal was to incorporate an open plan office space, fully completed, possibly requiring only the purchase of furniture. We wanted to keep the functionality of the offices as they were. Therefore, we kept the division in three parts: front, middle and back, explains Agnieszka Kowalczyk. Redevelopment of historic buildings is not easy. You have to deal with many difficulties, sometimes being taken by surprise. Simple steps, such as the installation of an elevator in this building are a challenge. The owner was aware of the difficulties, however he was determined.
We all had the same goal: to restore the building for the public, the City, in its original form. We tried to keep as many of its original features as possible. Unfortunately we fought for a long time with the fire brigade to retain the original hallway. We needed to install a fire alarm system. To comply with the provisions of the fire brigade is the biggest issue when restoring an old building, says the Project Manager.
The fire alarm system was not the only obstacle. The contractor's and architect's work - the laboratories of Chachaj-Rozmuski, Pandastudio and Mrs. Anna Morasiewicz - was faced, inter alia, with problems with basement bolders, which remained after being localized in this spot by previous townhouses. Another problem was fitting new installations and systems which corresponded with the old building.
Modern and classical
Heritage Gates offers a 3200sq.m. area for rent (first-fourth floors). These floors are designed for office space, while the ground floor and basement are designed for power points and utilities. Great space has been preserved, as have large window openings, high ceilings and a structure which provides ideal conditions for a modern commercial area, stresses Agnieszka Kowalczyk. An architectural treat is a beautiful facade of sandstone and clinker, as well as fantastic interior design, in which the brick is visible. There are bright, beige colors. Personal attention to detail is provided for each of the bathroom floors, which are made of ceramic tiles custom-made by artists, graduates of ASP.
An excellent location, attractive architecture and modern updates have already tempted the first tenants, which are: Academic Business Incubator Business Link, Architectural Studio Archipelag, Polish Solar, Investments Found Managers and Go Rails Go. Revitalization of the Heritage Gates was finished in July 2012, while the first company/tenant moved in August of the same year. Such an interest speaks volumes about the uniqueness of the project and about the growing success of refurbished buildings.