16 March 2004
Metropolitan in Warsaw, designed by Foster and Partners for international developer, Hines, has picked up the top MIPIM Award in the Business Centres category.
MIPIM, the property trade fair in Cannes, is considered the most important international property event of the year and the awards are the equivalent of the Oscars of the Industry. The awards recognise the worlds most remarkable property developments as chosen by industry peers. Participants and delegates at the fair cast their votes during the event last week and the winner was announced on Thursday 11 March at an Awards ceremony at MIPIM.
Metropolitan was completed in September 2003, and stands on the edge of Pilsudski Square, Warsaws most important and historic public space at the heart of the city. The building is a thoroughly modern counterpart to the neighbouring historical buildings - matching their height, massing and materials - without resorting to pastiche. Metropolitan occupies a deep five-sided site but encloses at its heart an open drum-like public space which allows the building to be permeable, maintaining pedestrian short-cuts across the site.
The buildings faades are glazed from floor to ceiling to optimise daylight in and to exploit views out over the Square and surrounding buildings. The desire for a transparent faade had to be reconciled with the need for the building to have the apparent solidity of its neighbours. To achieve this, the glazed faades incorporate vertical granite fins which, when viewed obliquely, make the faade appear solid, but when viewed head-on gives it transparency. The fins add a rich texture to the faade, which changes as one moves around it.
The building has already been substantially let with the ground floor units leased to high-end retailers. In fact the office space leased in the Metropolitan accounted for more than 50 percent of the entire Class-A office space leased in Warsaw in 2003. It is also considered the most technologically advanced office building in Poland, featuring a new generation climate control system to date unknown in the Polish market.