Associate Director Mariusz Wróblewski talks about the transformation of Forum Gliwice in Poland

The ten-year-old Forum Gliwice shopping centre development has been transformed inside and out, with nearly all customer areas being refreshed. Movement through the centre has been improved by changes to the common areas. A landing in the atrium was removed to allow installation of a stage area which will serve as the home of events and artistic performances, providing a focal point for the centre.

Chapman Taylor’s Warsaw studio provided the concept design for this much-anticipated transformation of the Forum shopping centre, with work on the building exterior set to follow. Associate Director Mariusz Wróblewski spoke to Ewa Kaszuba-Nawrocka of light installation specialists LUG Light Factory, who provided interior lighting services for Forum Gliwice, about the design inspiration and key challenges faced in renewing the development.

The ten-year-old Forum Gliwice shopping centre development has been transformed inside and out, with nearly all customer areas being refreshed. Movement through the centre has been improved by changes to the common areas. A landing in the atrium was removed to allow installation of a stage area which will serve as the home of events and artistic performances, providing a focal point for the centre.

Chapman Taylor’s Warsaw studio provided the concept design for this much-anticipated transformation of the Forum shopping centre, with work on the building exterior set to follow. Associate Director Mariusz Wróblewski spoke to Ewa Kaszuba-Nawrocka of light installation specialists LUG Light Factory, who provided interior lighting services for Forum Gliwice, about the design inspiration and key challenges faced in renewing the development.

What inspirations and factors influenced the architectural solutions of this building?

The main factor determining the solution was the fact that we were modernising the existing form of the facility, and this required us to consider the context. This shopping centre, designed by ArKuS Biuro Projektowo - Doradcze Marek Gachowski, was opened in 2007 and was established on the grounds of the former factory site, Gliwickie Zakłady Materiałów Ogniotrwałych, in the area around Traugutta, Witkiewicza, Opolska and Lipowa. This was the first large commercial facility in Gliwice, one of the fastest-developing cities in Silesia, with 200,000 inhabitants.

When we started to prepare the modernisation project in 2014, we had some basic problems to solve. The 43,000 m² of space, including 140 shops and service outlets located in the centre, didn’t only require material and technical modernisation; we also had to redesign the common areas and the toilets, and remodel the communication areas, to improve movement around the facility. That’s why we incorporated escalators and a pavement in the design.

In the atrium, we got rid of the landing and replaced it with a multifunctional platform scene in the shape of a partially glazed ellipse. This space is now at the heart of all events and performances. One of the basic things that we also had to improve was the lighting, which wasn’t just about converting conventional lighting to LED. The centre is glazed in many places and it also has a large skylight above the atrium, which provides a lot of daylight. Unfortunately, some areas were underexposed to natural light in the evenings and on cloudy days. Our design solution increased the amount of light in a way that did not significantly change the original design assumptions and installations.

When selecting interior finishing materials, we focused on 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 (a combination of snow white and warm wood), interlaced with openwork strips of metal mesh together with linear light strips embedded within them, introduced rhythm and order to the irregular line of passages.

From the architect’s perspective, what was the biggest challenge in this project?

The most difficult challenge was how to reconcile several different guidelines, the necessity of embedding new technologies in the existing facility and a few non-standard solutions that were made specifically for the needs of this project – for example, the elements of small architecture and the equipment, which reference the oval, elliptical shape of the atrium and skylight. This motif was repeated in various elements of the project as a distinguishing feature – in the geometry of the stage, benches, elements of visual identification and the food court lighting placed on the pillars. The co-ordination of the project, in which we implemented new and bespoke solutions instead of ready-made catalogue solutions, was an additional challenge for us as architects. It was crucial to find the right partners for the project.

Have you met the client’s requirements with the modernisation project?

Absolutely, yes. We completed the goals that were set before us. The building now has a unique design decor and was adapted to the requirements of today. This modernisation has received excellent user ratings and we have positive references, which makes us, and the client, very happy.

From the architect’s perspective, what was the biggest challenge in this project?

The most difficult challenge was how to reconcile several different guidelines, the necessity of embedding new technologies in the existing facility and a few non-standard solutions that were made specifically for the needs of this project – for example, the elements of small architecture and the equipment, which reference the oval, elliptical shape of the atrium and skylight. This motif was repeated in various elements of the project as a distinguishing feature – in the geometry of the stage, benches, elements of visual identification and the food court lighting placed on the pillars. The co-ordination of the project, in which we implemented new and bespoke solutions instead of ready-made catalogue solutions, was an additional challenge for us as architects. It was crucial to find the right partners for the project.

Have you met the client’s requirements with the modernisation project?

Absolutely, yes. We completed the goals that were set before us. The building now has a unique design decor and was adapted to the requirements of today. This modernisation has received excellent user ratings and we have positive references, which makes us, and the client, very happy.


* Interview by Ewa Kaszuba-Nawrocka of LUG Light Factory, who provided interior lighting services for Forum Gliwice.

For more information, please contact:

Mariusz Wróblewski
Associate Director (Warsaw)
mwroblewski@chapmantaylor.com

Mariusz Wróblewski

副董事, 华沙

Mariusz Wróblewski joined Chapman Taylor in 2012 as a Senior Architect and was promoted to Associate Director in 2017.  

With over 15 years professional experience and wide technical knowledge, he has extensive experience of delivering and supervising the design stages of Retail projects. Mariusz is also a passionate artist and his sketches have won several internal competitions at Chapman Taylor as well as awards for external publications. 

Areas of expertise:

Retail

Dysponując ponad 15-letnim szerokim doświadczeniem zawodowym i wszechstronną wiedzą techniczną, Mariusz posiada bogate doświadczenie w realizacji i nadzorowaniu wszystkich etapów przygotowywania złożonych projektów.

Mariusz jest też artystą z zamiłowania, jego szkice wygrały wiele wewnętrznych konkursów Chapman Taylor, a także były publikowane i nagradzane zewnętrznie.

Dołączył do Chapman Taylor w 2012r. jako Starszy Architekt i został promowany na stanowisko Vice-Dyrektora w 2017r.

Języki: polski, angielski.

Obszary specjalizacji:

Obiekty Handlowe / Kompleksy Wielofunkcyjne / Zaprojektuj + Wybuduj

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