Sterlinga Business Centre



Creating a New Business Destination for Łódź

The plot for the new development is currently not commercial area of Łódź city centre. The goal with this project was to reinvigorate the area with new commercial functions to start a regeneration process of the area whilst at the outset still sit comfortably within its context. The whole area of Łód was being upgraded as part of a wider city initiative that includes substantial new train stations and an improved public realm

The brief for asked for a new A grade office building that would meet international expectations to attract both global tenants as well as wealthier local tenants. There was a demand for this type of accommodation and the brief was expansive and demanding considering the site that was selected. Volumetrically the brief implied a building considerably larger than any buildings in the vicinity.

The Primary Challenges
The main concern would be how to address the issue of the brief areas within the context of lower height and lower density neighbors. Once allowing for maintenance and fire constraints extruding the brief to the height of our tallest neighbour did not meet the brief. We would not only need to go higher than the adjacent buidlings to achieve the brief if we then wanted any ‘modelling’ of the mass as a response to context we would need to go 2 or more levels higher.

How We Overcame the Primary Challenges
Analysis of the neighbouring buildings as well as numerous massing solutions for the new office building led us towards a taller more three dimensional solution rather than the lower but simpler single volume. By making the final volume a series of interconnected volumes we were able to reduce the apparent scale of the building as well pull back the corners of our building away from the neighbours to give each building ‘air’; not so crammed together. The smaller scale volumes worked more comfortably with the context as well as allowed us to shorten the perception of the front elevation. This did however mean we would need to go higher.

A number of eye level studies were undertaken to study different approaches on how to handle the increase in height from the pedestrian perspective. The goal being to minimize the visual intrusion of the increased height as well as the overshadowing implications on the public realm of a taller volume.

The Winning Equation
After many iterations and presentations to the city authorities a solution was agreed upon that didn’t impact negatively on the urban realm but still achieved the clients brief. A number of strategies were employed to increase the usable area of the above ground volume as we didn’t fight for additional height only to use it as roof top technical space.

Larger Floorplates
To avoid excessive height increases to meet the brief we had to maximize the potential of every floor plate extending the area to the maximum we could. Usually this would result in deeper floor plates (façade to core dimension) which in turn would result in greater tenant area needing all day artificial lighting. We did a number of test floorplates whereby we took large ‘bites’ out of the floor plate to bring the natural day light deeper into the plan. An optimal solution was found that maximized daylight with minimal area loss – the solution was implemented and has become the ‘feature corner’ of the project as it also resulted in very desirable office area as well gave the building its own identity. For an office building in this location the floorplates are 40% larger than competing buildings in Lodz which has made it very attractive to tenants wanting more area but not wanting to have to rent 2 floors of office space.

Sustainable Facades
Each façade has been designed appropriate to its sun exposure and contextual opportunities and demands. The west facing facade is the only glazed façade – it being the front of the building it opens the building up to the street and uses partially louvred high performance low emission glazing to control solar heat gain. The southern façade has a solid wall with punched windows which reduces the glass exposed to hot southern sun. The north and eastern facades are also solid façades with punched windows to reflect the window treatments of the adjacent residential buildings. This façade approach ensures the building operates with a reduced energy consumption as it isn’t battling with excessive heat gain in summer and excessive heat loss in winter.

The building supports a number of green terraces that not only support the local fauna and flora but add an amenity value to the tenants of the building. The building has green terraces on three levels which aid to reduce the overheating fo the building as well as increase water retention.

Although not a public building the immediate environment of the building is well landscaped and lit to ensure if it safe at nighttime. All the light fittings used are energy efficient Led fittings and are controlled centrally from the building BMS computer system. This ensures the lighting is used optimally and energy use is monitored.

MEP Solutions
With above ground area being at a premium considerable time was spent on reducing the top level technical equipment to keep its footprint (and visibility) to a minimum. Energy efficient equipment was specified which included many environmental solutions to recycle air and heat throughout the building.

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