Urban milieu and original character of the site
The building is located on a prestigious site in the heart of Krakow, Poland, on the Lubicz road, parallel with the Rakowicka road, in the Wesola district. It was constructed in compliance with the traditional method of construction for buildings in Krakow, whilst also deferring to the historical identity of the site.
The building has a facade covering five floors, lateral wings and a posterior wing surrounding a rectangular courtyard – an atrium with a glass roof at first floor level. The atrium has been glazed with Pilkington Suncool™ Silver 50/30, a glass affording high light transmittance and excellent solar control performance, retaining the heat in winter and keeping the building cool in summer.
The architects were inspired by the urban milieu and original character of the site. “The outline of the construction was defined by the landmark ‘Nafty’ building, constructed in the fifties (enabling part of the plot in front of the building to be preserved). The height was aligned with that of the neighbouring structure and the landscaping left intact. In addition, a main entry and ‘mega-window’ have been let into the facade opposite Rakowicka road,” recorded one of the designers, Artur Jasinski, in the journal, “Architektura”.
The ‘mega-window’, measuring 10.09 m x 10.838 m, was implemented with the Pilkington Planar™ system manufactured by Pilkington Architectural. Pilkington toughened safety glass with a low emissivity coating was used for the insulating glass units in the facade. The units consist of 10 mm Pilkington Optifloat™ Clear THS, for the outer pane, and 6 mm Pilkington K Glass™ THS, for the inner pane, assembled with an air core between the two. The supporting wall consists of a vertical glass framework.
The Lubicz Centre is the largest and most complete glass structure to be built to date in Poland. Buildings of the same type using the Pilkington Planar™ system have already been built in Western Europe and the United States. Initially, the building was designed to house the headquarters of the Krakow Bank of Industry and Commerce, hence its monumental nature.
The basic construction materials are glass, steel and sand – the major part of the facades has been sand-blasted. The east and west facades are fitted with Pilkington Suncool™ Silver 50/30 and Pilkington Suncool™ Classic Silver in the form of spandrel panels.
Most of the facades are fitted with Pilkington Optitherm™, low emissivity glass insulating glass with an argon gas-cavity to ensure very good thermal (Ug value = 1.1 W/m²K).
The Lubicz Business Centre, all the large glass facades of which have been glazed with Pilkington products, was awarded the 'SARP Prize of the Year' for the best architectural construction in 2000.