Służewiec Racecourse, Warsaw, Poland

The Project
Warsaw's Służewiec Racecourse is an example of the architecture of the interwar period, combining functionalist and naval styles. The building resembles a transatlantic cruise liner with a rounded hull, lit by natural daylight through multi-level glass galleries.

The main designer of the establishment was the Warsaw architect Count Zygmunt Plater-Zyberk, who visited the best European racetracks before embarking on the project. Thus, on the one hand, mistakes were avoided at the design stage. On the other hand, state-of-the-art technical solutions and a comprehensive urban layout were used.

The premise, with no clear dominant features, consists of two tracks: a main grass track of about 2,300 m in length, which hosts flat, hurdle and obstacle races, oriented on a north-south axis along Puławska Street and three grandstands, and a sand training track of about 1,950 m in circumference, located on an east-west axis, with three earth and sand racecourses.

The area was designed as a huge training complex. It features brick-built stables with adjoining accommodation and utility rooms, carousels for stabling horses and spacious paddocks along Race Avenue. An innovative solution was an underground tunnel connecting the training area with the racecourse, through which the horses were led to the races. Another unique project was the creation of the so-called English park, which included carefully designed greenery and a fire reservoir, more reminiscent of a stylish swimming pool in its appearance. The water tower made the track independent of the city's water supply system.

The track opened on Saturday, 3 June 1939, and at the time, it was the most modern and largest hippy complex in Europe. In 1989, the horse racing track complex was entered into the register of historic buildings.

The grandstands, facing east (to avoid glaring light during the afternoon competitions), are located hierarchically and differ in their purpose for different user groups.

Stand I (the so-called 'Honour' stand) with paddock is the former exclusive pavilion, located closest to the finish line and connected to the administration building for judges and journalists. It has a glass curtain wall spanning three storeys on the paddock side, a suspended ramp between floors instead of stairs and terraces for the audience. The curtain wall was made of Pilkington Insulight™ insulating glass units with the use of 6 mm toughened Pilkington Suncool™ 70/35 T high-performance solar control glass and laminated glass Pilkington Optilam™ 8,8.

Stand II (for about 4,500 people) has mainly standing areas, as well as box seats and terraces. It was taken out of use in 2007 due to its technical condition. Seven years later, it was partially reopened. During its renovation, glass and metalwork were replaced. New glazing was made of 6 mm toughened Pilkington Suncool™ 70/35 T high-performance solar control glass and laminated glass Pilkington Optilam™ 6,4.

The glazing specified for both stands is a great choice for large glass areas. It ensures efficient solar control while maintaining a high level of interior lighting. Pilkington Suncool™ 70/35 has a high selectivity index (ratio of light transmittance to total solar energy transmittance) and excellent thermal insulation. It provides highly effective protection from the sun and is additionally neutral and low-reflective, offering high aesthetic value.

The renovation process started in 2013 and finished in 2018.
  Project ReferenceGL_PR0246
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Project Details
Surface Area
1492 m²
266 Pulawska Str., 02-684 Warsaw, Poland
Opening Date
Building Type
  • Leisure
  • Sports Facility
About the Architect/Installer
Benefit Led Categories
  • Safety Security
  • Solar Control
  • Thermal Insulation