Since May, 26th 2014 the Foundation for Polish Science has been operating out of its new headquaters: ul. Krasickiego 20/22 in Warsaw.
The need for a move from the previous FNP headquarters to a new one arose as a result of the considerable development in the Foundation’s programme activity. Since 2008 the FNP has carried out several new programmes financed from European structural funds, and had to double its staff. The previous building was too small to house all members of the staff, so in 2008 we purchased a real estate for office purposes at ul. Krasickiego 20/22. This comprised a ruined 1930s building surrounded with a garden, which had both certainly seen better days. During the II World War it suffered serious damage, and was not rebuilt following the original design. The Foundation acquired the building in a very bad condition. Having received the consent of the Warsaw Conservator of Listed Buildings, we got the go-ahead to rebuild and modernise the property.
It was our intention to create not only a functional place that would satisfy our office needs, but above all – a unique, visually attractive and environmentally friendly building that would both emphasise the prestige of the Foundation and Polish science and become a landmark of the district and city – an open place inspiring various communities.
In 2009 we announced a competition for developing an architectural conception for the modernisation and rebuilding of the building at ul. Krasickiego 20/22 to house the new FNP headquarters. The winner was FAAB Architektura. Building work began in autumn 2012.
The work resulted in a modernised building redeveloped in accordance with the principles of ecological construction, based on revitalisation of existing building materials making maximum use of the old building’s structure, leaving those walls that were not rebuilt after the war and whose technical condition permits their preservation. However, during building work it became clear that, for example, the part of the elevation reconstructed after the war does not meet building norms and was in danger of collapse. Following the renovation the building comprises four floors with office space of 1527m2. The modernised building returned to the original, pre-war order of the front elevation, with a street entrance and an original terrazzo stairwell. The revitalised building features modern ecological technological solutions, including a rational management system for water and electric energy. The property has been made more attractive by its “living façade”, i.e. a vertical garden installed on the front elevation.
Solutions used in the building:
- Living façade – the new FNP headquarters is Poland’s first building covered in a “living facade” consisting of a 250-m2 elevation garden. Plants are supplied with water and minerals by special irrigation system including a geotextile fabric creating a “foundation” for the vegetation. The weight of the system including vegetation does not exceed 30 kg per square metre. The elevation garden is also a thermal isolator – heating the building in winter and cooling it in summer and thereby reducing its energy needs.
- Daylight: an inner atrium running through all floors above ground level provides natural light to the building’s interior. Daylight also reaches the garages equipped with a system of skylights.
- The building is fitted with the highest-class energy-saving equipment – heat pumps reducing the need for energy.
- Rainwater stored in a retainer tank and then used for flushing toilets.