Shopping center project for the former factory in Świętojańska Str.

Maciej Kuryłowicz, architect. biuro.kurylowicz–

The shopping centre was designed in the site of Fabryka Wyrobów Runowych "Biruna" - former Becker factory - a historic industrial complex.

Il. 1 Former Becker factory in Świętojańska street in Białystok

It is a modern, downtown cultural and commercial centre with a movie theatre multiplex typical to the metropolitan cities of contemporary Europe. This undertaking will result in removing a production facility from the city centre by transferring it to the outskirts of the city. The investment project will allow to integrate the industrial space that has been so far enclosed in the city centre with the municipal agglomeration and, consequently, contribute to local cultural activities while simultaneously involving the dwellers in the social and cultural life and leading to intensification thereof. The modern approach and the complex development and spatial management of the historic factory complex of “Biruna” make it unique in the scale of Europe. Adapting the existing buildings selected by the Voivodeship Conservation Officer and engaging them functionally will allow to restore them and mark their existence within the designed facility in a new form.

The facility will house stores and boutiques from various branches, as well as a supermarket, a household appliances and electronics department, banks, offices, food and drink establishments, service outlets, a movie theatre multiplex with 7 screens.

The form of the designed structure corresponds with the industrial nature of the factory and historic facilities, which have a chance to emerge in a new form when they become functionally engaged. The buildings of the Voivodeship Office and Courts from the Interwar Period also became a framework of this project. I designed the facades facing Świętojańska street to make the body of the new structure a background for the adapted buildings. This concerns both the scale of the new building and the materials used, namely clinker lining. The facade facing Mickiewicza street refers to modernism and simplified art-deco, but architectural details are modern and feature a characteristic, prefabricated reinforced concrete cornice. The layout was generally arranged in a rectangular drawing. The main entrance is accentuated by navy blue and grey glass panels with silicone seals, thus making an impression of a “mystery”. Entering the building is assumed to be a process that leads a person from the scant front facade to the interior enlivened with the colours of store windows.

Il. 2 Project of s
hopping center

The fundamental design problem that results from the location of this facility incorporating an underground parking lot with 750 parking spaces is the arrangement of access routes.

The study of accessibility took approximately 6 months. Experts in this field advised to look at the problem in the context of the whole city. I realized the importance and consequences of design solutions at the stage of defining design assumptions and drawing first sketches. The design spiral was unwinding fast. To ensure that the arrangement of the road system is correct, we run traffic simulations up to the year 2012. The results of this work are tables collating data on insufficient traffic routes that clearly indicate what should be done to the road infrastructure in order to create a fully efficient system of streets. After performing additional traffic measurements and examining each turn at each intersection, when issues related to traffic solutions became absolutely clear, we began to design the facility itself. I verified each decision concerning the design against the guidelines of the Conservation Board and the comments from the society of architects. I am grateful to everyone who contributed to articulating constructive thoughts, as they usually proved very helpful in the course of the design work. The result of these events will be the facility that will be ready for viewing at the end of 2008. I hope that it will stand out above other structures in Poland and become a showcase of Bialystok.