The brand new Galena retail and entertainment complex, located in the city of Joworzno in southern Poland, has given local residents a fresh and inspiring new focal point for their community. Previously a disused coal mine, the open site was perfect for the regeneration project led by specialist local developer, P. A. Nova. Become finds out how Benchmark by Kingspan’s engineered facade system gave designers their ‘Eureka’ moment and how it was subsequently used to provide a unique balance of form and function for P. A. Nova’s scheme.
The Galena site covers a generous area of 26,700m2. With an open aspect on all sides, the shape of the structure was critically important to ensure a seamless fit within the local environment. P. A. Nova general designer and Vice President of the Board, Stanisław Lessaer explained: ”In the tradition of urban architecture, houses located along a street or standing alone create a pattern, which is usually punctuated by one or two distinct elevations. In the case of Galena, with it being freestanding in a public space and visible from all sides, we wanted to approach the design with the shape of the existing urban architecture very much in mind. It was important for us to create a rich experience for people seeing and using this building and the foundation for this was for us to consider carefully shape stratification, façade colour and form, differing levels of roof surfaces, location of entrances and highlights alongside all of the other architectural and construction details.”
The decisive moment came during a meeting with members of the Benchmark by Kingspan team, who introduced us to the engineered facade system…It was the moment when we stopped thinking about the elevation as one of the major structural parts of the building and instead considered a pillar/ceiling system with light external curtain walls.
Hero product led to pivotal project moment
With a rye smile on his face, Lessaer reflects back on the design/ specification stage of the Galena project. He continued: “Knowing that the shape of the building and its façade were so crucial the team had been considering all kinds of alternatives. The decisive moment came during a meeting with members of the Benchmark by Kingspan team, who introduced us to the engineered facade system – a self-supporting, lightweight, insulated curtain wall, which can be clad without an additional substructure. It was the moment when we stopped thinking about the elevation as one of the major structural parts of the building and instead considered a pillar/ceiling system with light external curtain walls. From that time, we were able to refine the technical solutions and optimize the financial side of this project.”
Each product from the Engineered Facade system has its own benefits and standardized technical solutions. For Galena these were the starting point for the development of a detailed design for each façade. All aspects were considered, from optimizing the length and width of the materials through to designing numerous original new details with the Benchmark by Kingspan team. The Engineered Façade System system serves as a warm curtain wall and substructure for individual solutions: HPL laminates in anthracite and lemon, Steel Mesch in silver, ACM composite panels in white – three basic materials, colors and textures create a 3D form. Some edges were highlighted to get the effect of irregularly spaced window openings. Elevations southwest and southeast are located 30–50m from the surrounding streets and are viewed as a whole, which is why the vertical Benchmark by Kingspan panels, underlined by colours were used.
The materials and colours used for the elevations at the monumental entrance create an arresting, modern frontage above the streets and park as if inscribed into the surrounding urban layout. Ewa Bobkowska, President of the Board at P. A. Nova concluded: “We are returning this part of town to the local residents by providing them with both retail and entertainment in an inspired space that is fit for the future.”