We started this project with great enthusiasm, we felt the importance of the building and wanted to preserve it. The Rotunda with its square works as a magnet which attracts people and we decided the right away that this was the first thing to work with – making the Rotunda a theater of urban life.
The building is a Monument from the people to the people, in every research about the rotunda in every historical record two things keep showing up: the explosion of `79 and the following poorly executed reconstruction. Both of these elements were essential for our design and the right thing to do was to go back to the `79. We went back to the saddest moment and we framed that moment.
Doing that we achieve three really important things: we recreate an icon, preserve the history of the building and finally make sure nobody will use it again as gigantic advertising panel. We created a layer that symbolically represents the explosion of the glass captured in time, but instead of creating an ornament our façade has various functions. The splinter looking lamellas are sunshades made with DuPont SentryGlass and solar spheres. They would be used to reduce the energy consumption and in the night this elements integrate a dynamic lighting effects.
The interior, reinterpreted in a modern way, is developed in three levels -the ground level for the public and the upper levels as bank. For the interior we use a small but carefully chosen range of materials consisting of SentryGlass®, Corian®, metal and light concrete. The public level is designed as an extension of the public space, we bring the meeting point inside. It functions as an urban theater where anyone can perform but could also be used as exhibition area or space for private events of the bank. The public space outside the building serves as a place to rest surrounded by nature in middle of Warsaw. The benches made out of Corian create a nice spot to sit down while waiting for someone.
The design of the square resembles the shock waves of the explosion. The big surface of the roof and the area of the square will be used to collect rainwater which is then used for the toilets and irrigation of the green areas. DuPont™ Plantex® solutions are used to maintain the high quality of the green areas.
For heating and cooling the building we use a Heat recovery ventilation system which reduces the energy use.