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GOLDEN TERRACES
A mixed-use development incorporating numerous unique and innovative features, Zlote Tarasy is set to transform the centre of Warsaw. http://ua-brides.com/uadreams-review-website.html

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02.jpg Due for completion in early 2006, the Zlote Tarasy development is the largest of its type in Poland, and one of the largest in Europe.

This 400 million euro project was nothing more than a three hectare brownfield site two years ago, but in around a year’s time it will represent a state-of-the-art 225,000 metre square retail and entertainment location.

This mixed-use development, located in the Polish capital, Warsaw, sits adjacent to the Palace of Culture and the central railway station. With an underground connection to this station and connections to streetscapes on the upper levels of the project, the park exposes the project’s interior to the street, thereby reconnecting the surrounding public spaces and fabric.

Designed as a lively, multi-levelled canyon that combines nature with retail and entertainment, Zlote Tarasy will be protected from the weather by a glass roof creating the ambience of an external shopping centre and, with the addition of heating and cooling, will be comfortable in the harshest of Polish winters.

The project is interwoven with a ‘basket weave’ circulation plan designed to create a synergistic environment, and recreational zones offering a multitude of activities will be organised to create a 24-hour destination. As a direct result of these innovative features, when Zlote Tarasy opens it will become a landmark symbol of the capital and Poland, and will entirely change and enliven the image and profile of central Warsaw.

Designed for ING Real Estate and their co-developers, Rodamco Europe, the project has a core team of local and international participants. With an unrivalled track record of working on prestigious projects of this nature, Arup has been a key part of this team since project inception. The company carried out structural, civil, transportation, geotechnical and building physics engineering, with responsibility for acoustics and façade engineering along with studies and simulations relating to pedestrian movement within and around the development.

Arup also carried out SPeAR assessments at key stages, and the project successfully demonstrated how sustainability can be integrated into a project at an early stage, and add value across all aspects of sustainability.

Leading the Arup team on this project is David Killion, a chartered civil engineer with design and project management experience on a range of major commercial and industrial projects in both the UK and Poland. He explains how Arup has been part of the development since its formative stages: “Although this project started on the actual construction site in 2002, our first involvement was as far back as 1999, working both with ING the client and then gradually with the architect in developing the concept for the facility. This concept progressed, grew and evolved during those meetings and early stages and then when the scheme was relatively fixed, we began work on the scheme design detail and then the construction design phase.”

Bringing the project fully up-to-date, David adds: “We had a trip out to the site in January and saw that the structure is now complete with the cladding and facades being installed. All the mechanical and electrical services are also progressing well, along with the first phase of fit-out in many areas.”

He believes that the development’s highly original ‘basket weave’ concept brings a number of key benefits: “In English, Zlote Tarasy means ‘Golden Terraces’ – a name which was chosen because the retail areas of the development are on four different levels and the terraces cantilever over each other. This means that whatever level you are on, you can see all the floors beneath and above, which is a wonderful design feature.

“This also allows people from the railway station on many different levels to enter the development seamlessly and as you enter the building, you can see a lot of activity, which helps to attract shoppers and customers to use the centre and stay there.”

In addition, this transparency of the centre from the outside also makes it a very attractive proposition for people passing by who can see all the various floors of the development. This theme of transparency and glazing continues throughout the office buildings within Zlote Tarasy, which will allow workers to look down and view all areas of the facility.

David also feels the glazed atrium roof will provide Zlote Tarasy with something very different from similar developments across Europe. “This feature represents extremely dynamic architecture and very advanced engineering,” he says. “The shape doesn’t follow logical geometry as the architects created this concept by draping a cloth over a number of spheres. As a result, this roof is certainly amongst the most challenging parts of the entire structure. The balance of trying to create a structure that was commercially viable along with meeting the aspirations of the architect, all combined with getting the engineering right to meet those two elements was a challenge in its own right, and we worked in tandem with a specialist contractor to meet all of those.

“There are many thousands of glazed panels on this roof and to try and come up with a size and shape of panel that you would get the optimum amount of panels from one sheet of glass was something we worked very hard to achieve. In addition, the architect wanted this roof structure to look like one seamless atrium, which meant we had to rationalise the members to get them down to one size and then to vary the thicknesses to maintain their capacities, while at the same time giving the perception that there is just one member size.

“In some cases there are seven levels of structure beneath the support for the atrium, meaning the atrium is supported on six independent structures of reinforced concrete. All of these move and behave differently to each other and to the atrium roof. Then in turn the roof behaves in its own right, it is continuous and seamless without joints and it is moving through thermal expansion, wind and so on. Therefore we had to marry those factors and make all the movements compatible, which was certainly a major test.

Architectural Clarity
“Ultimately we have ended up with 11 internal supports, the roof is approximately 10,500 square metres and the supports had to be designed to support the seamlessness and the architectural clarity of the structure. So these supports are like trees in a sense where they have a base trunk, a number of branches and then smaller branches, meaning they gradually get finer and finer until they meet the roof. Consequently it is quite a light structure and certainly gives the perception of being light and floating, which is exactly what the architect was trying to achieve.”

With the development on target to be completed in 2006, all the partner businesses have worked together well to ensure a highly successful project. Arup’s existing well established office in Warsaw has helped the company immeasurably in forming partnerships with the very best local businesses. “When working in Warsaw, we pulled in a number of local experts to assist us in such areas as codes of practice and wind and snow, and that in-turn helped us to produce modelling simulations in more detail. The geotechnical local expertise was also important to understand the conditions of the ground in particular areas and what the locals do in comparison to what might be done in the UK is quite different,” David comments.

“If you continue to have a base within a country, you gradually build up that skill with indigenous people and that is an excellent way to grow your business. In the short term though it is important to pull in the expertise at an early stage.”

The Zlote Tarasy development portrays perfectly how projects of this type have evolved in recent years and decades, with clients demanding increasingly more style and originality in their design. “Customers are now far more concerned with creating landmark buildings and want to undertake more commercially viable projects, usually within shorter-time scales. This is very definitely the case in Poland at the moment and Zlote Tarasy is certainly one of these landmark examples. As a consequence of these demands, clients are becoming more aware of what is achievable in terms of architecture and engineering, and are setting their targets extremely high.

David concludes: “In addition, I think that clients are looking to companies who can offer the whole spectrum of engineering and advice. A lot of these projects now are starting to be shorter-term build projects, so it’s a company that can offer a variety of core disciplines and the specialist engineering needed, all within a commercial and timely manner that will prosper going forward. That is precisely what our client wanted on this project and all of that without diluting any of the architecture – something I feel we have achieved very successfully.” CT-E

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