Forum shopping centre, Gliwice, Poland
In the Forum Gliwice shopping centre, we managed to implement a bold vision of architects from Chapman Taylor. Below you’ ll find the interview with arch. Mariusz Wróblewski - Associate Director who speaks about the whole design process:
What inspirations and factors influenced the architectural solutions of this building?
The basic factor determining the solution was the fact that we are designing modernization of the existing facility with its form and the need to fit into the context. Shopping Center designed by ArKuS Biuro Projektowo - Doradcze Marek Gachowski, was opened in 2007. It was established on the grounds of former factory: Gliwickie Zakłady Materiałów Ogniotrwałych in the area of Traugutta, Witkiewicza, Opolska and Lipowa streets and was the first large commercial facility in Gliwice - one from the most dynamically developing cities in Silesia with 200,000 inhabitants.
When in 2014 we started to prepare a modernization project, we had some basic problems to solve. 43 thousand square meters of space, 140 shops and service outlets located in the center required not only material and technical modernization. We had to redesign the common parts, toilets and remodel the communication areas, so as to improve the movement around the facility. That is why the escalators and a sidewalk appeared. In the atrium zone, we resigned from the landing, replacing it with a multifunctional platform - a scene in the shape of a partially glazed ellipse, which is now the heart of all events and performances.
One of the basic things that we also had to improve was lighting. It was not just about converting conventional lighting into LED. The Forum building is glazed in many places, it also has a large skylight above the atrium, which provided a lot of daylight. Unfortunately, in the evening and on cloudy days, some areas of the facility were underexposed. We had to take this into account and increase the amount of light in a way that does not significantly change the original assumptions and installations.
In the selection of interior finishing materials, we focused on well-proven and modern materials such as composite, architectural mesh, stainless steel and wood. Mirrored column cladding reflects light in an effective way, and wood-like floors warm up the interior. New open lamellar ceilings (combination of snow white and warm wood), interlaced with openwork strips of metal mesh together with linear light strips embedded in them, introduce rhythm and order to the irregular line of passages.
From the architect's perspective, what was the biggest challenge for this project?
The most difficult was to reconcile many different guidelines, the necessity of joining with new technologies in the existing facility and a few non-standard solutions that were made specifically for the needs of this project. This applies, for example, to the elements of small architecture and equipment of the object, which refer to the oval - elliptical shape of the atrium and skylight. This motif is repeated in various elements of the project as a distinguishing feature in the geometry of the stage, benches, elements of visual identification and the foodcourt lighting placed on the pillars. Coordination of the project, in which we do not use ready-made catalog solutions, but implement new, individual, is an additional challenge for the architect. The key issue is finding the right partners here.
Have you met the client's requirements with the CH Forum modernization project?
Yes, the most. In the project we completed the goals that were set before us, the building received a unique design decor and was adapted to the new requirements. Modernization have got a very good user rating. We received positive references, which makes us very happy.
Arch. Mariusz Wróblewski, Chapman Taylor Associate Director, Warsaw
CH Forum, Gliwice, Lipowa 1,
Architect: Chapman Taylor
Owner: DEKA Immobilien GmbH
Manager: Jones Lang LaSalle Property Management Sp. z o.o.